The Trump administration’s decision to repeal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals became official on Tuesday.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the decision to phase out the Obama-era policy in the next six months, leaving it up to Congress to step into help the nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought into the U.S. as children, or Dreamers, protected by the program. While delivering the news, Session suggested that the program’s beneficiaries had taken jobs from U.S. citizens and somehow put the country “at risk of crime, violence and even terrorism.”
DACA recipients must meet certain requirements to be protected from deportation under the program, including an extensive background check that vets applicants for criminal history. The Center of American Progress also previously estimated that the country would lose $433.4 billion in GDP over a decade if it sent Dreamers back into the shadows with a repeal of DACA.
Sessions, who has long opposed DACA, called the policy “unconstitutional” during the announcement and President Donald Trump echoed the sentiment in a statement of his own. But despite Trump’s emphasis on enforcing law and order in the country, the president recently pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty of criminal contempt after illegally targeting Latinos in a crusade against undocumented immigrants.
Latino politicians, celebrities, journalists and activists reacted to Tuesday’s DACA repeal news via Twitter and press statements shortly after it was announced. Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, also immediately announced his resignation from Trump’s National Diversity Coalition.
“This disgraceful action goes against not only the values of this country, but also against the promise of this administration to focus homeland security resources towards individuals who have committed violent crimes and pose a threat to communities across the country,” Palomarez wrote in a press statement following the news.
Dozens of DACA recipients and allies marched to the Trump Tower in New York City, with some sitting in the middle of the street as an act of civil disobedience. NowThisNews captured the moment some of the participants were taken into custody and arrested.
Online, Latino influencers joined protesters in expressing their disapproval of the Trump administration’s decision, with many pointing out that the move was not motivated by politics but by xenophobia.
Check out how Latinos reacted below: