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People’s Action Pledges to Stand With DACA Recipients and  Work Toward Full Immigration Reform

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today that the Trump administration will terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), leaving 800,000 young people in this country vulnerable to deportation unless Congress acts within six months.

People’s Action and its member organizations are calling on Congress to repudiate the Trump administration order, immediately restore the protections of DACA to these young people and work diligently toward full immigration reform.

“The Trump administration’s decision to end DACA is a purely political move; one that is cruel and gutless,” said Mehrdad Azemun, campaigns director for People’s Action. “Playing games with the lives of young people who consider this country their home is beyond heartless.”

DACA allows people who were brought to this country as children the opportunity to work, go to college and fulfill the dreams of any young person. That hope is being stolen by the Trump administration, but People’s Action members are determined that it won’t break the spirit of the Dreamers or their families.

“While this administration focuses on dividing and attacking immigrant communities from across the country, in Arizona we know that one of the best ways to defeat hate and racism, is with love and unity,” said Abril Gallardo, organizer for Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA) and a DACA recipient.

“We will come together as community, we will comfort each other and organize. We draw our strength from our faith, family and community as we continue to fight for liberation for all,” she said.

People’s Action organizations are holding and supporting actions today in Phoenix, Arizona (Living United for Change in Arizona); Denver, Colorado (Colorado People’s Action); Normal, Illinois (Illinois People’s Action); Des Moines, Iowa (Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement); Detroit, Kalamazoo, and Troy, Michigan (Michigan United); Reno, Nevada (Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada ); Seattle, Washington (OneAmerica) and other cities.

People’s Action and our state member organizations throughout the country are prepared to defend DACA and pledge to stand up for people like Gerardo, a member of Colorado People’s Action, who came to Colorado when he was just 9 years old.

“All of my friends and family live here. This is my home. It’s the place where I have my hopes and dreams. Being deported to Mexico would mean I’d have nowhere to go,” said Gerardo, who asked not to have his last name used because of the renewed risk and fear he now faces because of the Trump administration.

“When President Obama introduced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program I was saved,” said Gerardo. “Thanks to DACA, as a young person I was able to build a life and contribute to this country: I could get a job, build a career, obtain health care insurance, and create a network of friends and loved ones. We won’t go back to the shadows, no matter what.”

Amanda Ballantyne, national director of Main Street Alliance, a People’s Action partner organization, said small business owners are more successful when they can find the most talented employees, regardless of their immigration status, and sell products to the nearly one million DACA enrollees who now have higher disposable incomes.

“Today’s end to DACA is not only going to tear apart lives, families, and communities, but would also put small businesses into the impossible, costly position of being forced to fire productive employees for no other reason than an arbitrary change in federal policy,” said Ballantyne.

People’s Action and our more than one million supporters in 29 states, believe that all lives have value, all people have the right to thrive and no one should live in fear.

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About People’s Action

People’s Action is a national network of 38 state and local grassroots, power-building organizations united in fighting for justice. Our organization recently released a vision for a national Homes Guarantee that has already prompted major legislation from champions including U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib. We operate the largest progressive rural organizing project in the country. Prior to endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, we completed a national forum series that The Nation called “the most in-depth, people-powered forum” of the 2020 cycle.”

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