DACA Under Siege by Trump and AG Jeff Sessions

Last week, Trump pardoned Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a notorious national symbol of racism who refused court orders to stop his racial profiling in his zealous multi-year campaign of persecution against Latino communities. Now, one week later, Trump is throwing MORE red meat to his anti-immigrant and white supremacist supporters by going after immigrant kids, once again undermining American values in order to feed the bigotry of his extreme base. 

This morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced to the world that we, as a nation, can no longer be trusted to keep its word, that our word is no longer our bond. You see, in a stunning act of cruelty even for Trump, he had Attorney General Jeff Sessions announce termination of key parts of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program effective six months from now, upending the lives of 800,000+ young people. That 

DACA recipients – often referred to as DREAMers — were brought to the US as children and for many of them this is the only country they’ve ever really known. Under the DACA program, they registered with the government and passed background checks in exchange for being able to work, pay taxes, and feel secure in their homes without the fear of deportation.

Many on the anti-immigrant Right who have been fighting against DACA since Day One have focused their criticism on the way in which it was done – with an executive order by President Obama. They have claimed that the real problem was just that Congress didn’t pass the law – so now it’s up to Congress to call their bluff and pass the DREAM Act.

Congress needs to act now to protect our investment in their education and assimilation before Trump releases his hordes of ICE thugs to begin deportation of DREAMers as their 2-yr authorizations come up for  renewals. And we even have a head start, because the bill already has bipartisan support!

Congress can undo this outrage by passing the DREAM Act of 2017, which would provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and other young undocumented immigrants who graduate from US high schools and attend college, enter the workforce, or enlist in a military program.

In the Senate, the DREAM Act is sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) … we need to demand that the Senate make this bipartisan bill a priority, to get relief to the DREAMers who need it.

Petition:  << Tell Congress to PASS the DREAM Act of 2017 without delay! >>

Or, better yet, take a moment from your day and call or write your members of Congress and ask them to expedite bringing the Dream Act of 2017 [ House bill#:  H.R.3440 / Senate bill#: S.1615 ] to the floor for a vote AND to vote for its passage:

Trump Set to Deport Dreamers to Appease His Supremacist Base

A Note from Senator Catherine Cortez Masto —

Last month, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of President Obama’s landmark Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program granted hundreds of thousands of young people the opportunity to come out of the shadows and pursue the American Dream.

Dreamers are our soldiers, engineers, teachers and the future of this great nation. They embody everything we stand for as a country. But right now, DACA is under grave threat, and Dreamers are anxious about their future. Anti-immigrant attorneys general are threatening to sue the Trump administration if he doesn’t end DACA – and recent reports suggest Trump is finally about to follow through with his disgraceful campaign pledge to end the program. Now, more than ever, we need to stand up and defend these inspiring young men and women!

More than 12,000 DACA recipients call Nevada home, and I have been fortunate enough to spend time with many of them. They are fighters. They never give up. These young people were brought to our country as children, and for many of them, America is the only place they’ve ever called home. But now, they face constant uncertainty about their futures. This is wrong. We should be helping them live up to their full potential.

Not only is rescinding this program un-American, it is economically unsound. Deporting nearly 800,000 DACA beneficiaries would cost our economy at least $433 billion over the next 10 years. That’s not an economic policy we should embrace.

Welcoming immigrants is an American tradition. We should not be tearing families apart and inciting fear and discrimination. Dreamers are our loved ones, our friends, our neighbors, and we must protect them.

Thank you for standing up for these extraordinary young people.

¡La lucha sigue! 
The fight continues!


Got a Twitter account?  Tweet your demands to respect and protect DACA to: @POTUS, @realDonaldTrump, @VP, @MarkAmodeiNV2, @SenDeanHeller

If You’re Against Immigrants, You’re Against My Grandma

Many good kids — with the same American dreams my grandparents had — now fear being exiled to a land alien to them.
— by Mitchell Zimmerman

One day in a Latvian town more than 100 years ago, when my grandmother wasn’t much more than a girl, she heard that the czar’s “recruiters” were coming to conscript men into the Russian army for 20-year terms.

Two days before they came, a handsome young man she’d known only slightly told her he was going to America instead, and asked her to come along as his bride. She agreed.

Their travels weren’t wholly lawful. Lacking proper papers to enter Germany, where they planned to embark on a steamer to New York, they were smuggled across the border at night, in a cart.

Some 40-odd years later, when I was a small child, my mother would take me to Brooklyn to visit them. I recall grandma as a short, ancient grownup, her face square and her cheeks jowly. Despite having lived in New York for decades, she still spoke little English — only enough to make halting jokes. I don’t think she ever became a citizen.

She and grandpa faced hardship and discrimination. They’d been called “kikes” and “Jew bastards.” They’d been asked, “Why don’t you go back where you came from?”

New York’s Ellis Island, circa 1900. (Photo: NIAID / Flickr)

But they stayed, and their children and grandchildren — including my brother, a journalist, and myself, a lawyer — climbed the ladder to success.

My grandparents come to mind when I meet my young friend — “Jesús,” let’s call him, a pro bono client.

Jesús, too, is an immigrant. But he recalls little of coming to America, and less of Mexico, his birthplace. He was only 7 when his mother, hoping for a better life and lacking proper papers, carried him here.

Jesús grew up in East Palo Alto, California — a small city not far geographically from the prosperity of Silicon Valley, but a world away socio-economically. Plagued by poverty, drugs, and crime, the town was once the murder capital of America.

When he reached high school, Jesús found himself behind the kids from the richer towns. But he enrolled in the school’s computer science track, applied himself, and ultimately won a nationwide “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” competition.

The school offered him little guidance about a path to college, but he found his own mentors. Eventually, he earned a B.S. from a small local college, paid for by soccer and academic scholarships — and hard work.

Jesús meanwhile devoted himself to diffusing conflicts among Latino and black gangs in violent neighborhoods. “When asked about putting himself in harm’s way,” a counselor informed me, “Jesús said he didn’t want to live in a world where people hate each other based on the color of their skin.”

For some people, this is all irrelevant. All we need to know about Jesús is that he’s “illegal” — and so should be deported.

This would be fundamentally unfair. Jesús, like many others whose parents brought them here, had no say in whether or how he entered the United States. But also like those others, he’s lived an entirely American life.

I assisted Jesús with his ultimately successful application for DACA status.

This Obama-era program (in full, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) offered a little security to youths like Jesús who arrived as children. If they were in school (or graduated) and had no criminal record, they were eligible to remain in the U.S. for a renewable two-year period.

With an anti-immigrant administration coming into office, however, many of these good kids fear being exiled to a land alien to them. I hope Trump has the decency to let them be.

Jesús is now 24 years old and works at a tech start-up. He has an American wife, son, and baby daughter. His aspirations, like my grandparents’ were, are to educate his kids, work hard and prosper, and continue to inspire others to set aside despair and reach for the stars.

How American those ambitions seem to me.


Mitchell Zimmerman is an intellectual property lawyer who devotes much of his practice to pro bono work. Distributed by OtherWords.org.