Out Boulder County's Statement Regarding DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)
Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaking on behalf of President Trump, announced that the administration is rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, pending a 6 month period for Congress to pass legislation to save it.
DACA is a program started by President Obama’s administration in 2012 to protect undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. DACA applies to a specific group of undocumented immigrants: those that arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16, lived here since June 15, 2007, and were not older than 30 when the policy was enacted in 2012 (a group known as Dreamers). DACA did not provide a path for citizenship for the Dreamers, but it did allow them to set aside fear of their own deportation and obtain valid driver’s licenses, enroll in school, legally secure jobs, and pay income taxes.
Nearly 800,000 Dreamers have been able to come out of the shadows through DACA, including more than 75,000 LGBTQ people. These are people that are contributing to our country in positive ways every single day. Many of them may not even know a country other than The United States of America.
Ending DACA is a cruel act that literally turns the lives of Dreamers upside down. These young people are being told to “return home,” but for the vast majority of DACA youth have never known any other home than the United States. Additionally, for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Dreamers, there is an additional risk that many of them may be returned to countries where their lives are in danger simply because they are LGBTQ.
President Trump’s assault on the marginalized communities of this country continues with his administration’s latest announcement. At Out Boulder County, will continue to dream with the Dreamers. We will continue to follow the lead of groups organizing for immigrant rights like Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC), Northern Colorado Dreamers United (NCDU), and other local and national groups led by people who are most impacted by this administration’s choices.
Out Boulder County believes that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, and that forcing any segment of our population into the shadows does not serve to strengthen our country. We join with the many organizations and individuals who pledge to do everything we can to resist this assault on human decency and we stand ready to collaborate with our local partners to continue to support Dreamers.
This week is Pride Week for Boulder. Part of celebrating Pride is being visible, being seen for who we are as individuals and as a community. As we celebrate Pride this week, we want all Dreamers to know that we stand with them and we will continue to work tirelessly toward a day when no one is forced to hide themselves due to fear and threats to their safety in this country.
If you are looking for action steps, you can sign this petition asking Congress to act and restore DACA. Additionally, please check CIRC, NCDU, and other local organization feeds on Facebook, Twitter, and by email for more information on upcoming direct actions and protests you can participate in.
Out Boulder County Board President
Cover photo credit: Craig Ruttle, The Associated Press