September 05, 2017

Udall Decries Trump Decision to End DACA Program

Calls on Republicans in Congress to act now to show compassion for Dreamers

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall blasted President Trump’s announcement that he will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has allowed almost 8,000 young New Mexicans to get legal status so they can work and go to school:

“President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program is a cruel and short-sighted mistake that will cause chaos for families and our economy. The 800,000 Dreamers – including almost 8,000 New Mexicans – who agreed to participate in DACA represent the best of our country. Many have told me their stories -- they are talented, patriotic young adults who want to finish their education and work as teachers, doctors, engineers. DACA allows them legal status so they can stay with their families and give back to the United States of America -- their home and the only country many of them have ever known.

“I said before today that President Trump is increasingly unfit to be president, and this decision, following on the heels of Charlottesville and the pardoning of Joe Arpaio, is further evidence. It reneges on a promise we made to these kids, puts their future in jeopardy and already is causing fear among families and throughout communities. The decision also spells disaster for our economy: forcing these driven young people out of the workforce could cost us 700,000 jobs and $460.3 billion in economic output over the next 10 years, not to mention a $24.6 billion hit in lost Medicare and Social Security contributions.

“The Dreamers’ future is now in the hands of Republican leadership in Congress, and I will fight tooth and nail to defend them and protect families. Many Republican officials have said they support Dreamers, so now is the time for Congress to come together to find a permanent solution that will allow these young people to realize their dreams of succeeding and giving back to this country. And I urge everyone who depends on this program – families, friends and employers -- to stand up and speak out, and let your communities and your lawmakers hear your voices of support loudly and clearly.”

Udall is a longtime supporter of bipartisan legislation to support Dreamers as well as for comprehensive immigration reform that would provide a path to legal status for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Earlier this year, Udall joined Senator Martin Heinrich in introducing S. 229, the Protect DREAMer Confidentiality Act of 2017, a bill to safeguard Dreamers’ private information -- such as addresses and telephone numbers -- to ensure that the data is not used by the Trump administration to target them for deportation.