The Arlington County Board has joined other local elected officials in criticizing President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for undocumented immigrants.
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon (below), the County Board called the decision an “act of cruelty” that will “will tear apart families, cause substantial economic damage to our nation and further divide Americans.”
We are gravely disappointed with President Trump’s decision to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the program that has given hope to some 800,000 Dreamers by protecting them from deportation and allowing them to more fully integrate into our country — their country.
The young people protected under DACA have gone to school, saluted our flag and served in our armed services. Many never knew they were not citizens until they looked for a job or applied to college. They have made many contributions to our nation. Arlington’s own DACA recipients have been an integral part of this County through their academic achievements in Arlington Public Schools and their leadership in the community.
Since 2012, DACA has allowed certain undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before the age of 16 to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and made them eligible to work. In short, it gave nearly one million young people hope.
The president’s act of cruelty will tear apart families, cause substantial economic damage to our nation and further divide Americans. Congress must now act before the March deadline to protect the Dreamers. Congress should immediately consider the American Hope Act, cosponsored by Rep. Don Beyer, who has shown real leadership on the immigration issue.
While Congress has tried and failed in the past to enact comprehensive immigration reform, permanently addressing the fate of America’s Dreamers cannot wait. Now is their opportunity to act, and they should do so immediately.
Arlington again reaffirms its commitment as a welcoming community that recognizes, respects and supports the contributions of all its members. Today, Arlington stands especially with these young people, our Dreamers and DACA recipients.