The Black Alliance for Just Immigration, the nation’s largest black-led organization championing racial justice and immigrant rights, blasted the Trump Administration for rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that allowed 800,000 immigrant youth to live in the United States without fear of deportation.
“BAJI is appalled by Trump’s decision to rescind DACA. By cancelling the program President Trump is again pandering to white supremacists over immigrant and poor communities as well as millions of organizations, businesses and allies that support DACA recipients,” said Opal Tometi, executive director of BAJI, which is based in New York.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday announced that the Trump Administration was rescinding DACA because it was unconstitutional. The program provided a legal status for recipients, including participation in Social Security for nearly 800,000 mostly adult illegal aliens.
During a nationwide news conference Thursday, hosted by New America Media and Ready California, a collaborative effort to support organizations providing information and legal services to immigrant community members, reporters asked questions and experts outlined the new landscape without DACA.
Luis Quiroz, a DACA recipient, told reporters his parents brought him to this country from Mexico when he was six months old.
“I am an American. I don’t know another country,” said Quiroz, who is 27.
He is clearly worried about what will happen to him with DACA being rescinded and with good reason. Both parents and his older brother, who is deceased, were deported to Mexico.
“I’m unsure what my future looks like without DACA,” said Quiroz, who lives in San Francisco.
Like most DACA members Quiroz is Hispanic which leads some casual observers to think all DACA members are Hispanic. They would be wrong in making that assumption.
There are 575,000 undocumented black immigrants living in the U.S. and 1 percent are DACA recipients from black countries. The leading black countries for DACA recipients are Jamaica (5,302), Trinidad & Tobago (4,077), and Nigeria (2,095).
Tometi urged Congress to step in and fix the nation’s broken immigration system.
“It is now up to Congress to come up with a long-term solution to a broken immigration system that protects human rights and enables immigrant families to live and thrive in the U.S.,” Tometi said.
The Trump Administration has given Congress six months to fix the DACA program.