ACLU: Dreamers’ Lives and Futures Are Not Bargaining Chips

August 22, 2017 2:00 pm

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WASHINGTON — A new report from McClatchy states that some White House aides are counseling President Donald Trump to “strike an ambitious deal with Congress that offers Dreamers protection in exchange for legislation that pays for a border wall and more detention facilities, drastically curbs legal immigration and implements E-Verify.”

Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy and campaigns at the American Civil Liberties Union, had the following reaction to the article:

“It is abhorrent for the Trump administration to treat the lives and futures of Dreamers, including 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, as bargaining chips to further its racist agenda. For the past five years, Americans have benefited from the protections and opportunities, afforded by the DACA program, that make it possible for Dreamers to fully contribute to our communities. President Trump, who is currently considering ending DACA following an ultimatum issued by ten states, should commit to keeping the program on the books until Congress passes a clean legislative solution to address Dreamers’ status.

The proposed legislative pieces floated in exchange for Dreamers’ futures are top priority items from the anti-immigrant movement and attempt to force Dreamers to secure their safety by putting their family members at risk of deportation.

More detention facilities and the border wall are keys to Trump’s deportation force; ‘legal immigration curbs,” or cuts to available legal immigration options, is code for advancing the racially-motivated RAISE Act; and mandatory E-Verify employment checks without legalization would drive immigrant workers further underground, intrude on all workers’ privacy, and cause chaotic new burdens for employers and employees alike.

Any proposal with these anti-immigrant elements in exchange for legal status for Dreamers should be immediately rejected by the majority of Congress. Instead, the administration should stop cruelly playing politics with Dreamers’ lives. President Trump must make clear that he is committed to securing Dreamers’ futures, not threatening their well-being with backroom proposals.”

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