Boise, ID—Today, the Trump administration announced the termination of the DACA program. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, provided temporary protected status from deportation and offered work permits to certain immigrants who came to the United States as children. ACLU of Idaho released the following statement:
“Our nation is strongest when every one of us can contribute and share ideas, and when everyone’s basic rights and dignity are respected. The DACA program does just that, enabling young Dreamers to fully participate in their education, work, and family life, and to contribute to our nation’s social fabric and economic engine.
“The President failed in taking moral leadership to protect the lives of nearly 800,000 young aspiring Americans living in the United States under DACA status. DACA served as the lifeline for immigrants who came here as children seeking a better future, and now the threat of deportation hangs over their heads.
“Today’s action is no way to lead a nation with heart. The decision reminds us of a racialized history and division in our nation that chooses winners and losers at the expense of progress for everyone, regardless of where someone was born or the color their skin. Actual lives of Idahoans have been put in jeopardy. Immigrants are critical to the vibrancy of Idaho’s culture and economy, and our success as a nation is bound to our common American experience as a nation of immigrants.
“In Idaho, the President’s decision to terminate the program is devastating for all of us. Take for example the life of Jorge, from east Idaho. Jorge came to the United States with his family when he was two-years old, as a child he grew up in Jefferson County during the 1990s picking rocks and dirt clods off conveyor belts carrying potatoes from the spud harvest to get them ready for winter. It was in December of 2012 when he received his DACA card. He recalls:
“‘It was the best Christmas present ever. I held the card in my hands and I cried. I didn’t have to look over my shoulder anymore. I always felt like I was in a little cage, and it was finally opened and I could explore.’
“Today’s action is akin to putting Jorge back in the cage as his future is uncertain as a result of President’s Trump action.
“Our country is stronger when we embrace the challenges of the broken immigration system and work toward sensible reform that lifts the lives of every person, regardless of where one was born.
“Congress now carries the responsibility to make this right. Congress must pass the bipartisan Dream Act immediately to protect these young Americans. Our Idaho delegation needs to step up and join other members of Congress to resolve this issue once and for all and bring about permanent security and stability to the lives of DACA recipients and their loved ones.”