ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—The Trump administration today announced the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. The DACA program has served as a critical lifeline for nearly 800,000 young immigrants, or “Dreamers,” who came to this country as children, including almost 7,000 New Mexicans.
The following is a statement from María Martínez Sánchez, Staff Attorney at the ACLU of New Mexico, reacting to the White House announcement rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:
“Five years ago, the federal government made a deal with immigrant youth: As long as you pass a criminal background check, you can live, study, and work here. Hundreds of thousands of young people accepted the government’s offer in good faith and worked hard to build their lives here, with many knowing the United States as their only home.
“However, today the government and President Trump went back on their word, throwing the lives and futures of 800,000 Dreamers and their families into disarray, and injecting chaos and uncertainty into communities in the border region and across the country.
“Ending DACA is especially harmful for DREAMers and families in border communities. In New Mexico alone, nearly 7,000 of our community members used their DACA status to give back to our country in innumerable ways: they are our doctors, soldiers, and students. Our neighbors, family, and friends.
“There is no humane way to end DACA before having a legislative fix in place. Today’s decision to end the program is in response to a fake deadline and as part of a manufactured crisis. Now, the fate of 800,000 young people who call this country their home lies in the hands of Congress. New Mexico’s congressional delegation must decide if they are on the side of Dreamers or on the side of the ugly forces that helped to end DACA. These 800,000 lives are not pawns and Congress must pass the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017.
This is a hard day for the immigrant community, border states, and America as a whole, but we will continue to fight. Years of courage, sacrifices, and organizing won the DACA program in 2012. Nothing will deter these Americans and our allies in New Mexico and across the country from continuing to fight on behalf of their futures and holding those responsible accountable.