Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) today issued the following statement in strong opposition to President Donald J. Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:
“The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) is deeply concerned by the chain of events that President Donald J. Trump has put in motion by ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“The DACA program embodied the ideals and values we treasure as a nation, allowing young individuals who were brought to this country through no fault of their own to come into the light, work hard, and contribute meaningfully to our economy and society.
“By eliminating this program, President Trump is turning his back on the wealth of talent and skills that the more than 800,000 young hard-working Americans enrolled in DACA bring to this nation. These young individuals will now be forced to live their lives in limbo and constant fear for simply trying to pursue the American Dream. This insensible act puts in place a new reality for these young immigrants and all Americans, and sends a clear message to the rest of the world that our nation is no longer welcoming to immigrants.
“From here on out, students furthering their education who know no other home than the United States will be forced to look over their shoulders as they head to class. Members of our Armed Forces who put their lives on the line defending our nation will now have to worry about one day returning from a deployment and finding immigration officers at their doorstep. Business-owners and organizations like NALEO Educational Fund who employ talented employees that have become invaluable members of their staff will wonder if there may come a day when their colleagues will not return to the office after a lunch or coffee break.
“This decision ultimately harms all of the American people. As lawful members of the nation’s workforce, DACA recipients have earned higher wages, generated millions of dollars in increased tax revenue, and boosted economic growth. A recent survey from the University of California San Diego and National Immigration Law Center found that at least 72 percent of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies have employed DACA recipients.
“As a leadership organization that represents the nation’s more than 6,100 Latino elected and appointed officials, we know firsthand how important it is that the leaders who are on the frontlines of their communities dealing with the aftermath of this decision have access to the information and resources that will allow them to effectively serve their constituents.
“NALEO will not turn away from for our leaders and the Latino community as we approach the difficult road that lies ahead. Our toll-free bilingual hotline 844-411-DACA (844-411-3222)* will be activated immediately to help ensure that the thousands of individuals in need are able to be connected to real-time information and legal resources in their communities.
“While we are saddened that this moment has come for our nation’s DACA recipients, we are proud to see our partners, sister organizations and supporters come together for the good of the community during this time of crisis. We will continue to serve as a voice for the Latino and immigrant community in the midst of an increasingly hostile environment, but we know that the best means of ensuring that the most vulnerable among us are protected is an overhaul of our nation’s broken immigration system.
“The time for comprehensive immigration reform has never been greater, and we will continue to work toward that end for the good of the nation and the Latino community.”
*The NALEO Educational Fund 844-411-DACA (844-411-3222) national bilingual toll-free hotline will be in operation Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. PT.
Posted courtesy of Latino Lubbock Magazine News