Today (Sept. 5th) the Trump Administration ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program signed as an Executive Order in 2012 by then President Obama. On behalf of Oregon AFSCME Council 75, we condemn this action in the strongest possible way. It’s callous, cold, and just flat out a bad policy decision. This action will put hundreds of thousands of people, who know no other country but our own, back into the shadows, back into a life filled with danger and exploitation.
This hits home, as thousands of DACA Dreamers are AFSCME Members working hard every day shoulder-to-shoulder with members who are citizens. Within Council 75 we represent hundreds of such people. Additionally, they are our families, spouses, and friends within our community and we will not turn a blind-eye to the scapegoating of people whose crime is wanting to build a better life in our country.
Additionally, DACA has been a success, allowing 800,000 young people who were brought to this country illegally as children to remain in the country. Applicants cannot have serious criminal histories, must have arrived prior to 2007 and their 16th birthday, and have to reapply every two years. Bringing people out of the shadows is good for the safety and security of everyone. Giving contributing members of society a chance to earn their residency and citizenship is what we should want.
It is truly unfortunate that the President has taken this action and has again gone to the extreme, supporting a small segment of his party that sees no place for anyone that doesn't look like them. Even as members of both Parties support DACA and urged the President to do the right thing.
We urge members to contact their Federal Representatives and let us know how they respond.
Lastly, to Dreamers within our union and beyond it, we see you, we hear you, we stand with you now and into the future.