Trump's repeal of Obama-era immigration protections is a monstrous appeal to the most bigoted corners of his base

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Ian Pajer-Rogers |

The following statement can be attributed to Laura Barrett, Executive Director at Interfaith Worker Justice:

Today, President Trump announced that he will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA is a signature initiative by the Obama Administration that gave hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth the opportunity to work legally, become homeowners, attend college, and more without fear of detention and deportation.

With the repeal of DACA, the lives and livelihood of 800,000 young people and their families are suddenly in jeopardy.

There is no moral, legal, or economic argument that justifies the decision to end DACA.

But as we’ve seen with the pardoning of proudly-murderous Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the decision to leave open border checkpoints even as Texans were told to evacuate the path of Hurricane Harvey, there is no bottom to how low Donald Trump will sink to appease and appeal to the most bigoted corners of his base.

These tactics surpass cynicism. They are pure evil.

For the team at Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ), the fight for DACA and for the protection from the terrors of detention and deportation isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s personal.

Maria Torres, one of IWJ’s talented organizers, also happens to be a DACA recipient.

In a message to IWJ supporters urging them to take action to save DACA, Maria shared some of her experience with the program and her fears about the possibility of repeal:

“DACA is not a permanent solution to the plight of 12 million undocumented immigrants, but in the five years that I have had the protection of DACA, it has been hugely beneficial to my life. I have been able to I get a work permit and a Social Security number. This has allowed me to build a credit history and apply to competitive jobs with health care and retirement benefits. As a result, I am now financially independent.

“More important, DACA protects me from deportation and has allowed me to not get arrested again over a small traffic infraction. Finally, DACA allows me to travel without fear across the country for my job and to visit friends and family.

“This threat is not new; DACA has been in danger for some time. Communities like mine are used to the constant fear and intimidation. Yet, this time we think the current President might actually follow through and gut this program. He has no plan for the 12 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States. This is inhumane and immoral.”

Interfaith Worker Justice is fully committed to doing whatever it takes to win protection for all undocumented immigrants. Whether pushing for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in Congress, defending DACA from the attacks of this Administration, or providing sanctuary for targeted individuals — we will not sit back and allow this attack on undocumented people go unchallenged.