House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), today released the following statement after the Trump Administration announced it is terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:
“With Attorney General Sessions’ statement today, the Trump Administration has confirmed it is the most anti-immigrant Administration in generations. The anti-immigrant rhetoric of this Administration is not what our Nation is about and they are wrong as a matter of law and policy.
“The nearly 800,000 DACA recipients, who came to the United States as children, are as American as any of us. They have become our teachers, doctors, neighbors, and family members. Yet, Trump has set the stage for the mass deportation of as many as 1,400 young people a day.
“The six-month delay in initiating this process does no justice for these DREAMers and the families who will be torn apart. The Trump Administration’s pretext for this action—DACA’s supposed unconstitutionality—doesn’t carry water. As a recent letter from over 100 law professors attests, “there is no question that DACA…is a lawful exercise of prosecutorial discretion.” Furthermore, Mr. Trump’s invocation of the rule of law strains credulity given his unprecedented pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, convicted of criminal contempt of court after he defied a judicial order to cease his longstanding practice of racially profiling Latinos.
“It is clear that the President eliminated DACA to advance his xenophobic agenda. This repeal aligns with the interests not of the 78% of Americans opposed to deporting these young people, but of un-American anti-DACA white supremacist leaders like Richard Spencer. Spencer has called himself a former “mentor” to close Trump advisor, Stephen Miller, who urged the President to end the program.
“It is particularly troubling that Mr. Trump would take this action while America continues to reel from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, during which DACA recipient Alonso Guillen died while trying to rescue people from floodwaters in Texas, as well as the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia. Now should be a time for unity, not divisive measures like DACA rescission.
“President Trump has failed the conscience of the country and Congress must take decisive action to right this wrong. I, along with my Democratic colleagues, support strong legislation that would provide DACA recipients with the legal status and path to citizenship that they deserve. We will continue to combat cynical efforts to use these human beings as bargaining chips.
“Republican lawmakers face a simple choice—whether to stand with or against nearly 800,000 young people who are as American as they are.
“The nation is watching.”