We will not lose hope: Next steps after the DACA rescission
MIRA Executive Director Eva A. Millona speaks at a press event with, from right, U.S. Senator Edward Markey, Attorney General Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh.
BOSTON, September 5, 2017 – Today, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has enabled more than 7,900 Massachusetts residents to come out of the shadows, attend college and work legally, will be phased out.
MIRA hosted a press conference with U.S. Senator Edward Markey, Attorney General Maura Healey, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Boston Schools Supt. Tommy Chang, community leaders and two Dreamers, and Executive Director Eva A. Millona issued the following statement:
Our hearts ache for our Dreamers today. We want every DACA beneficiary to know we stand with you, and we will work relentlessly to ensure that you’re safe and have the resources you need.
The Trump administration has been relentlessly anti-immigrant. Now, just days after defying due process to pardon a rogue sheriff, the President wants us to believe he’s acting out of respect for the law, but this is pure political pandering, at the expense of 800,000 innocent, hard-working people.
It’s also unwise and antithetical to American values.
DACA works: 97% of beneficiaries are employed or in school, paying taxes and contributing to our economy. Ending it will cost an estimated 700,000 jobs and $2 billion a year in tax revenue. It will force highly productive, skilled workers underground, harming U.S. businesses and impoverishing our communities. This is why DACA has overwhelming support among employers, educators, political and faith leaders, and voters.
We suspect President Trump knows this, which is why he handed off the DACA announcement to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The six-month delay to give Congress time to act is similarly disingenuous, and will cause even more chaos and confusion for very vulnerable young people.
We will all fight back together to protect our Dreamers. And we will fight for the DREAM Act in Congress, to give our young immigrants a clear, reliable path to citizenship. We urge the President to live up to his words and support this legislation as well. His leadership could be decisive.
Within Massachusetts, we will push ever harder for state policies that make everyone feel safe and welcome regardless of immigration status, including the Safe Communities Act and legislation to extend in-state tuition to all Massachusetts high school graduates.
MIRA will also work to ensure that Dreamers have clear, reliable information to guide their decision-making, as well as free legal advice and referrals. We will collaborate with partners across our Commonwealth to ensure that schools, colleges, employers, and cities and towns all have the knowledge and tools they need to support our young people at this difficult time.
We will not give up, and we will not lose hope. We will stand with the nearly 8,000 Dreamers in our Commonwealth and do everything in our power to protect and provide for them.