U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez vowed on Monday to fight efforts to deport “Dreamers” - immigrants protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. | Fran Spielman/Sun-Times

Reaction to Trump ending DACA for Dreamers

SHARE Reaction to Trump ending DACA for Dreamers
SHARE Reaction to Trump ending DACA for Dreamers

Reactions to announcement by Trump administration on Tuesday to end DACA protections for Dreamers by next March unless Congress acts…

Are you a Dreamer? For DACA FAQ’s from the Department of Homeland Security on what comes next, click HERE.

To read the DHS background memo on ending DACA, click HERE.

Developing, please check back.

Reactions from Illinois Democratic candidates for governor and Gov. Rauner at the end….

Cardinal Cupich: “Today President Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the dreams of nearly a million young people covered by the executive order and applying for inclusion. In the past the president stated that the Dreamer story “is about the heart,” yet today’s decision is nothing short of heartless.

“The Dreamers are now left in a six-month limbo, during which Congress is supposed to pass comprehensive immigration reform, a feat they have been unable to achieve for a decade. In fact, this inability to agree on a just immigration system led President Obama to sign the executive order protecting minor children brought to this country by their parents.

“As the considerations of the “heart” seemed to be insufficient to keep protection in place, Congress must now act decisively and swiftly. An immediate first step is for our leaders to pass legislation that will protect those previously covered by the DACA program, while they deal with the long-overdue comprehensive reform of our immigration system. They must be guided by compassion and respect for human dignity, and honestly consider the substantial evidence that deporting these young Americans would do great economic harm to the states where they reside.

“With the bishops in this country, we remain committed to upholding the dignity of all persons and the fundamental right of all to live free from fear in the nation founded on that promise.”

Sen. Dick Durbin D-Ill., the founder of the Dreamer movement:

“In my first conversation with President Trump on Inauguration Day, I thanked him for the positive things he had said about the Dreamers. He looked me in the eye and said: “Don’t worry. We are going to take care of those kids.”

“Despite many of the terrible immigration policies this Administration has put forward, I have always held out the hope that President Trump would keep his work and “take care” of the Dreamers. After all, the President told America, “we love the Dreamers.”

“But today’s announcement from Attorney General Sessions was cold, harsh, threatening, and showed little respect, let alone love, for these Dreamers.

“Starting this countdown clock will require Congress to act fast to stop rolling mass deportations of hundreds of thousands of young people—students, teachers, doctors, engineers, first responders, servicemembers, and more. Families will be torn apart and America will lose many of our best and brightest unless Republicans join with Democrats to right this wrong immediately. I first introduced the Dream Act sixteen years ago to ensure these young people could stay here, in the only country they’ve ever known. Now Congress must act on this bipartisan bill, and act now. These families cannot wait.”

Sen. Tammy Duckworth D-Ill. “Make no mistake—this decision is not about ‘rule of law,’ as Attorney General Sessions claims. This is a gut-wrenching betrayal of American values that leaves nearly 800,000 of our neighbors vulnerable to deportation and tears families and communities apart.

“DREAMers and DACA recipients are doctors, teachers, students and Servicemembers. They have mortgages and jobs. They know only one nation: the United States, which is where they were raised. To end a program that allowed these patriots to come out of the shadows and more fully contribute to this country is irresponsible and heartless. Congress must act immediately and pass legislation to make DACA the law of the land.”

Rep. Peter Roskam R-Ill.: “Our immigration system is clearly broken, and it’s long past time to fix it. This is just the latest crystal clear example of a broken system. We need immigration policies that make our country safer, stronger, and more economically prosperous.”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger R-Ill.: “America is a nation of laws, and it is the sole responsibility of Congress to create and pass legislation. President Obama bypassed Congress when he originally created the program, but in so doing, he offered a pathway for these individuals to get right with the law. In 2015, I voted to support DACA because I believe these children, who only know America to be their home, deserve an opportunity to be here legally.

“With that said, Congress now has an opportunity to act on immigration reform and we have the support here to do it. As a cosponsor of H.R. 1468, the Recognizing America’s Children (RAC) Act, it is my hope that the House will consider this legislation, sponsored by my friend and colleague Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), so we can act on this important issue sooner rather than later. It’s critical that we act on a permanent, legislative solution that allows these immigrants, individuals who have come out of the shadows and contributed to our society and economy, to stay here legally.”

Rep. Luis Gutierrez D-Ill., a national leader on immigration issues: “I personally will not support any funding bill that does not include a safe harbor for DREAMers – and I will work to have others join me in opposition. If they need our votes, we are bringing 800,000 young immigrants with us.

“I have already spoken with Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and will be talking to other Democrats in the House, but if Republicans need our votes, we need to have legislation to protect immigrant youth who have DACA.

“As a movement, we will not go away, back down or give up because the President has taken this callous and destructive action. The CHC, other Democrats, and the pro-immigrant movement fought hard against a Democratic President to win DACA and I am confident my CHC and Democratic colleagues will fight a Republican President even harder to defend DACA, in the courts, through legislation, and community by community and deportation by deportation, if necessary.”

Rep. Jan Schakowsky D-Ill. “DREAMers are hard-working and courageous. Through their gumption and bravery, they embody the American spirit. By turning his back on these young people, President Trump has demonstrated that he does not even understand that spirit. How is our country made better by prohibiting these young people from working and threatening them with deportation?

“Congress needs to act immediately to overturn this outrageous action.

“DACA recipients should know that these may be dark days, but we’re not done fighting with them. Despite the President’s misguided and cruel actions, we will continue to be with you every step of the way going forward. Estamos con ustedes.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell R-Ky.: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s announcement on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

“President Obama wrongly believed he had the authority to re-write our immigration law. Today’s action by President Trump corrects that fundamental mistake.

“This Congress will continue working on securing our border and ensuring a lawful system of immigration that works.”

Illinois Senate President Sen. John Cullerton D-Chicago: “I am at a loss to understand why the Trump admin. would pursue such backward and hostile action.”

Colleen Connell, executive director, ACLU of Illinois: “The Trump Administration has made today a terribly cruel day for nearly 20,000 young people in Illinois. Five years ago, the federal government made a deal with immigrant youth: pass a criminal background check and you can live, study, and work here in the United States. Young people came out of the shadows and accepted the government’s offer in good faith and worked hard to build their lives here. Now, President Trump has gone back on that word.

The Administration’s action is especially callous given the recently-announced pardon for disgraced Sheriff Joe Arpaio. It appears that the Trump White House rewards those who flout and violate basic rules and laws, while youth are punished for following the rules. The Trump Administration’s actions are an affront to the values we hold as a state.”

The ACLU of Illinois will continue to work with our allies and committed elected officials to protect these 20,000 Illinois residents. We have not broken faith with them.”

Rep. Mike Quigley D-Ill. “Today, the President has once again proven that his policy towards immigrants is rooted solely in prejudice. Ending DACA is unnecessary and unjustifiable, with over 800,000 DREAMers living in America and contributing to its growth and success. These immigrants came here as young children in search of the values and ideals our nation was founded upon – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Like all people living in this great country, DREAMers are striving to obtain their own American Dream.

“In addition to not caring about the reprehensible moral consequences of subjecting DREAMers to possible deportation, he is also ignoring the devastating economic impact his decision will have. Despite promises to grow the economy, repealing DACA would reduce our national GDP by $433 billion over the next ten years.

“Through this decision, Trump has made it clear that he is not a president for everyone and will continue to prioritize pandering to his base instead of representing the diverse population that makes America great. Additionally, it is no surprise that he recently took to Twitter to shift responsibility for execution of his plan to Congress; and until legislation moves forward, Democrats will hold Republican leadership accountable. We must embrace and elevate our American values, and that starts with protecting the most vulnerable amongst us.”

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi D-Ill: “Through this announcement, the President has made clear that he refuses to protect Dreamers and so now Congress must. The Administration’s cruel policy includes a six-month phase-out of the DACA program, and Congress must pass legislation to extend this program and protect Dreamers.

“This issue is personal for me because I too was brought to the United States by my parents as a child. The hope for a better a life which carried my parents here was no different from that of the parents of Dreamers, and generations of immigrants before.

“In Illinois, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has allowed thousands of young people to live, work, and serve our country without fear of deportation. They have built businesses, raised families, served in our armed forces, and contributed billions to our economy. For many, the United States is the only home they have ever known.

“Through this action, the Administration is turning its back on some of our country’s best and brightest. Stripping 780,000 Dreamers of their DACA status will cost our economy nearly half a trillion dollars over 10 years while robbing our country of thousands of entrepreneurs and contributors at leading companies.

“I urge the President and Speaker Ryan to stand with Dreamers and work with Democrats and Republicans in Congress to pass commonsense, compassionate, and comprehensive immigration reform. The Dreamers deserve to stay.”

Rep. Mike Bost R-Ill.: “Policies are only as durable as the process through which they are created. The confusion and uncertainty regarding the legal status of individuals affected by DACA is due in large part to the Obama administration’s insistence on sidestepping congressional authority. The House has already taken steps to make America safer, secure our borders and end sanctuary cities, but serious work remains. It is my sincere hope that the House and Senate, in coordination with the president, will find a just and reasonable solution for those affected by the DACA program, while also underscoring the importance of the rule of law.”

Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel: “Amy and I have had the pleasure of hosting dreamers in our home for dinner. You can see in their eyes and hear in their voices how much it means to them to be part of the fabric of America. President Trump’s decision to end DACA is not only harmful to these young people, it strikes a blow against our core American values and is an affront to basic human decency.

“It is a betrayal of more than 800,000 children who have done nothing wrong and of the unique role the United States has played in the world for centuries. The United States is a nation of immigrants, not a country that tears families apart or deports children who have placed their faith in the promise of America. I know countless dreamers in Chicago who are talented, hard-working and dedicated to their families and the only home they have ever known. Not only will Chicago continue to welcome dreamers, we will pursue every legal option to protect our children, defend our immigrant communities and uphold the enduring promise of the American Dream.”

The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition (IBIC) is deeply disappointed in President Trump’s decision to repeal DACA. The DACA program has allowed nearly 800,000 young immigrants brought here as children to attend school, pay taxes, and work in major companies in every industry in the United States.

lllinois is home to nearly 42,400 DACA recipients – over 36,000 of whom are in our workforce. Ending DACA would result in approximately $2.3 billion in lost GDP over the next decade.

IBIC calls on Congress to quickly pass the bipartisan DREAM Act or similar legislative solution to enable 800,000 people to continue to work, go to school, and pay taxes, and to ensure that American companies do not lose some of their most talented employees.

Rep. Bill Foster D-Ill.: “I strongly condemn any attempt to end this program and make DREAMers feel unsafe. The United States is the only home many of these young people have ever known and their presence has made our country stronger,” Foster said. “DREAMers have also had a positive economic impact in the United States. Reports suggest that they add $460 billion to our national GDP. It’s clear that the President fails to appreciate the important contributions these Americans make to our country’s rich diversity and economic prosperity.”

“In 2012, the Obama administration established the DACA program to allow individuals who came to the United States as undocumented minors remain in the United States. Since the program launched, an estimated 788,000 received work permits. An estimated 1.7 million people are eligible to benefit from this program.


Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner: “I don’t want children to be caught in the middle of an issue that the adults in Congress need to resolve. I have been advocating for Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform for years. I believe the current system makes illegal immigration too easy and legal immigration too difficult. Congress must now act with a sense of urgency to address this issue.”

Ameya Pawar, 47th Ward Alderman and Democratic candidate for Illinois governor: “Rescinding DACA would have a significantly negative impact on the Illinois economy. Young people who receive DACA protections have a nearly 100 percent employment rate and are academically high performers. It is estimated that a repeal of DACA would cost the government over $60 billion in lost revenue and some $215 billion in lost GDP over ten years. In Illinois, it’s estimated that ending DACA would cost the state over $8.8 billion over ten years.

“Donald Trump’s decision to rescind DACA is yet another reminder that the president is only concerned about perpetuating a cruel, racist agenda that seeks to divide communities across our country. With more than 96,000 children of undocumented immigrants living in Illinois and the fourth-largest population of DACA recipients in the country, progressives have an important role to play in bringing people across our state together in fighting back against Trump’s agenda.

“Rescinding DACA isn’t just cruel, it’s stupid. It weakens our economy. It is antithetical to the very ideals that make America great. The economic damage ending this program will have on our state’s economy should be enough to prompt public outcry, but somehow Bruce Rauner has remained silent in the face of this latest attack on immigrant families and the hard-working people of Illinois.”

J. B. Pritzker: “Donald Trump ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program today is a disgrace to everything that we stand for – both as a state and as a nation.

“He broke a promise he made to young immigrants across the nation — that they “shouldn’t be very worried” and that he would “take care of everybody”.

“Right now, the futures of nearly 800,000 young people have been put in jeopardy by Trump’s unnecessary assault on DACA. These young people trusted this government. Came out-of-the-shadows. Submitted paperwork and underwent an extensive vetting process. In exchange, they were granted temporary relief from deportation and a work permit. Now they’re in school, working better jobs, earning higher wages, and contributing to their local economies.

“DACA recipients in Illinois contribute greatly to their communities. Illinois has the fourth-largest population of DACA recipients in the country and the highest share in the Midwest, with more than 42,000 people. In total, Trump’s actions will rob Illinois of nearly $2.3 billion in GDP each year.

“That’s why the time for action is now. Share this to resist Trump’s anti-immigration policies and stand with DREAMers across the nation.

“We stood up for Planned Parenthood and defended the ACA, we stood up against bigotry and hate in Charlottesville, and now it’s time to stand up for the DREAMers who are working hard every day to achieve the American Dream.

“As governor, I promise you that I will fight against Trump’s anti-immigration policies and protect DREAMers in Illinois.”

Chris Kennedy: “It is possible to be the president and un-American at the same time. Trump’s presidency has made this very clear. Since the beginning of his campaign, and throughout his presidency, Trump’s rhetoric and policies continue to disavow everything we stand for as Americans.

“For 200 years, we have seen ourselves as a special country. We have a unique physical landscape but more importantly, we have unique people.

“Our ancestors rejected royalty not simply because it created serfdom but because we wanted our political leadership to represent the new and the different, the strivers and the up-and-comers.

Five years ago, President Obama started the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to protect just such a group of people. DACA allowed immigrant children who were brought to our country at a young age through no instigation of their own to remain here.

Today, Donald Trump finally made his decision to end DACA.

If elected governor, I will do everything in my power to ensure Illinois remains a sanctuary state, and will not comply with the federal government’s decision to deport undocumented immigrants previously protected under DACA. Join me in this fight, make a $5 contribution today to send a message to Trump and his administration that you stand with immigrants.

Immigrants are the very fabric of our society—just as I am, just as all of you are. Immigrants are America.

American history teaches the same lessons over and over again.

We were all taught as children to revere the Native Americans, who welcomed the first immigrant Pilgrims and treated them as neighbors and not as aliens. This is our national story. It is the parable of America.

We are taught to respect Sacagawea for guiding Lewis and Clark. In Chicago, a communal, citywide hero is Jane Addams for her work at Hull House. She became famous and loved for welcoming new immigrants to our great city.

The lessons of how to treat immigrants is central to our American values.

There are currently over 96,000 DACA-eligible people living in Illinois, and I stand with every single one of them. But I need you stand with them too: make a $5 contribution to bring the change this state and country needs.

Donald Trump’s presidency is an attack on American values. It is an attack on who we are as a people. It is an attack on the American identity. Trump does this not because he believes in the actions he is taking but because he wants to an attack on immigrants to unify his base in support of his crumbling presidency.

It’s more important than ever that we raise our voices to stand with immigrant communities being targeted by a president who is incapable of leading our nation – a president who is comfortable making a decision that is steeped in hate and discrimination.

We need to let it be known that Illinois will continue to fight against and protect our family, friends, and neighbors.”

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