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In Response to the Termination of DACA

 

As immigrant mothers, we feel devastated to see the doors shutting in front of our children by the Trump Administration´s announcement regarding the termination of DACA. We will always feel responsible for our children and so the disappointment and suffering this decision is causing them weighs heavily on us.  Ending this program which protected so many of them from deportation is cruel and manipulative. Only six months ago this president had promised he would leave the DACA program intact. The reckless way in which he now goes back on his word is just another example of the psychological and emotional torture that we are now having to live with in Trump’s America.

DACA was an important protection against deportation that not only gave parents the peace of knowing that our sacrifices had been worthwhile, it also gave our DACA-holding children motivation and hope to continue fighting for their rightful place in this nation. And it is clear to us that this is the reason President Trump is ending the program now.

From the perspective of our children, who grew up here, the termination of the DACA program will place more than 800,000 people at risk of being deported from their country; or at least force them back into the shadows without the ability to work lawfully and fully integrate into the society where they belong.

This decision is clearly motivated by the same racist and xenophobic values which led President Trump to defend the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville and which led him also to pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had refused to obey a court order ordering his police department to seize racially profiling our community and other communities of color. The agenda of this administration is clear.

But we will not allow Trump´s anti-immigrant politics to win. After all, it is our children who have led the way of the struggle and have shown us of how important it is to keep on fighting at the local level for protections, such as the California Values Act, SB54. If it passes, this law would prohibit our local resources from being used to facilitate the deportations of our community by limiting the collaboration of our local law enforcement with ICE. It would limit immigration detentions from occurring at designated safe space such as clinics and public schools.

We also celebrate the successes of our sisters and brothers in other parts of the country, such as Texas, where the power of community organizing succeeded in obtaining an injunction against SB4, the law that would have forced local law enforcement to do the work of ICE. We proudly applaud these admirable organizers, activists and advocates – many of them DACA holders leading by example to remind us of what our communities have to offer to the movements for social justice.

It is true that DACA never gave our community the security and stability we seek, and that our government’s laws have yet to recognize the value of all of us as members of this society. And so, we also take this moment to reflect and to recommit ourselves to resisting at the local level while remaining engaged and determined to change the immigration laws of this country to obtain ones that recognize and respect our dignity, our humanity and our contributions to this society. This is something that even DACA did not realize for our children.  We must keep fighting and not forget that it is the dignity of full citizenship that our communities deserve and for which we have always been fighting.

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Lourdes Martinez

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