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09/05/2017 - DACA Termination: It's a Sad Day.

Today hundreds of thousands of DACA holders, their families and their supporters were left in shock as the DACA program was terminated by presidential announcement.

DACA was born from the Obama Administration's informed realization that, in order to keep the country safer, we need to prioritize certain groups for deportation and protect others. It currently takes years for illegal immigrants to move through the court system. We need to unclog the courtrooms by fast-tracking the removal of violent criminal aliens and placing others at the back of the line.

The Obama Administration granted "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals", also known as DACA, to kids who were brought into the country as minors prior to 2012 and through no fault of their own were without status in the USA. It was reserved only for those of the group who didn't have criminal records and finished school or served in the military. The cut-off date also predated the surge from Latin America of the past few years. Giving these kids a protected status cleared the clogged courtrooms so that Judges could focus on less-deserving groups.

Not only has this policy been effective, but it was and is completely within the powers of the president. Granting deferred executive action is a clear executive power, and the president is the head of the executive branch of the US Government.

I represent a lot of DACA holders. Many of these kids didn't even realize they were illegal until they asked their parents for their social security numbers for college applications. The US is their home, and study after study shows the positive impact these kids have on the community and US economy.

I can say first-hand that my clients who hold DACA are overachievers who absolutely do not deserve to be given the same deportation priority as criminals. Of the DACA holders I represent, the majority are currently in or are recent graduates of Masters Degree programs, about 10% own their own business and employ American workers, and about 40% are married to US Citizens but cannot qualify for the green card because their parents brought them here illegally.

If you voted for or currently support Trump because you want violent criminal aliens out of the USA, you should be extremely disappointed by today's news. I want violent criminals out too. However, I know that if we really want violent criminal aliens out, we need a system that prioritizes the removal of certain groups and places others at the back of the line.

When an illegal immigrant gets a notification to appear in court, the only thing accomplished at the first hearing is that the Judge schedules another hearing years later to actually hear their case. In the meantime, we spend our tax dollars housing criminal aliens in detention centers or letting them roam our communities. Now that these well-deserving kids are stripped of their deferred status, they will clog up the courts meaning it will take YEARS LONGER to get the violent criminals out. These kids will spend their time in lawyers officers and court rooms, stressed and uncertain, instead of the schools and businesses where they contribute and invest as active members of our society.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association today released the following announcement:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the wake of today's announcement by the Trump administration, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) condemned the cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative and reiterated its support for Dreamers and DACA recipients with the following statement:

"While the administration has turned its back on the nearly 800,000 hardworking DACA recipients for whom this nation is the only home they know, AILA and its members continue to stand with them as they fight to realize their American dreams," said Annaluisa Padilla, AILA President.

"A countdown clock now hangs over the head of every Dreamer in America and it is incumbent upon Congress to act quickly before that clock runs out. The vast majority of Americans, on both sides of the aisle, are in favor of granting legal status and the chance to become citizens to the Dreamer population. These young people are making America greater every day, building stronger communities and contributing their talents to American industry. Congress must take up the mantle that President Trump has cast aside and champion Dreamers before time runs out."

AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson noted, "Make no mistake: this announcement kills the DACA program that has benefited so many Dreamers and the communities they live in, and our country as a whole. To add insult to injury, Attorney General Jeff Sessions used the announcement of this decision to accuse Dreamers of stealing jobs and threatening our culture. That is not only wrong, it is offensive. The administration is pandering to nativists and bowing to the threats of a few state attorneys general who fail to recognize the constitutional authority of the executive branch that past Republican and Democratic presidents exercised for decades. By abandoning these young people, the administration is conceding far more than it gains from fulfilling a reprehensible campaign promise. But that's the choice the President has made, to forsake America's future and the lives of these young people who aspire to be a part of that future. We now look to Congress to live up to America's fundamental principles and stand up for Dreamers."