The City of Boston and local organizations have denounced the federal government’s recent decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, deeming it “cruel” and a “betrayal.”
DACA, a program put in place by President Obama by means of an executive order, protects nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. President Trump ended the program, saying that it is “unconstitutional” and gave Congress six months to pass a replacement before he begins phasing out its protections.
Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF) released a statement saying that the Trump administration’s decision was cruel and immoral.
“We urge our representatives and senators in Washington D.C. to pass the 2017 Dream Act, which will protect the almost 800,000 DACA recipients who make positive contributions to our society as parents, students, workers, and business owners every day,” wrote Barbara Civill, director of development and communications at HSTF. “HSTF has supported many DACA recipients in recent years, and remains fiercely committed to doing so.”
Mayor Walsh, at a press conference, said that the City of Boston is against the decision to rescind DACA.
“The President is betraying 800,000 DREAMers across the United States of America. This is not enforceable, this is persecution. It’s targeting of groups of people not because of what they did, but because of who they are,” Walsh said. “DREAMers are as American as Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump. This is worse than a broken promise, this is betrayal. In Boston, we’re not backing down an inch. We will fight back, and we already are fighting back. We are committed to our young people. We are committed to protecting immigrants and their families in our city the way we would protect anyone in our family, because they are our family.”
Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Tommy Chang and Boston Teachers Union (BTU) President Jessica Tang also released a statement on the decision:
“We stand shoulder-to-shoulder in fighting for the continued protection of all DREAMers, those law-abiding young people who have come to this country — often through no choice of their own — and have grown up and been educated here. These are hardworking students, employees, and even members of the military who enrich and strengthen our communities. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) reflects our values as a country by offering 800,000 of these young men and women the opportunity to gain a new freedom and security to work toward achieving their dreams, including getting an education and going to college, and to contribute to the country they call home.”
The statement continues “Eliminating DACA would drive them into the shadows, depleting our schools and our workforce of productive members of our society who simply yearn to pursue their dreams and fulfill their full potential. Boston’s educators remain as committed today as ever in continuing our work to protect and uplift all students, families, and communities. We remain steadfast in our efforts to ensure that we welcome and meet the needs of all children who walk through our doors, regardless of their race or immigration status. Day in and day out the principals, teachers and staff of the Boston Public Schools strive to create safe, welcoming and sustaining learning environments for all of our students.”
Another group that released a statement in response to the decision to rescind DACA was the Massachusetts Democratic Party.
“Today, the Trump Administration reaffirmed its agenda to vilify and punish our nation’s immigrant community – once again forcing them back into the shadows and tearing families apart. The President and extremist Republicans continue to ignore the fact that we’re a nation of immigrants and continue to undermine our American ideals of inclusion and diversity,” said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford. “Massachusetts Democrats – including our Senators, Congressional Delegation, and Attorney General Maura Healey – stand with the 7,934 DACA recipients in Massachusetts and the 800,000 across the nation who have long considered America home and have made great contributions to our economy, our society, and our communities.”