Seattle is home to thousands of undocumented immigrants, many of whom are children who came to this country with their parents. These are the children and young adults – the DREAMers – learning in our schools, contributing in our communities, each believing in the promise of America. The United States is the only home many of these young people have ever known.
President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, is a decision to play politics with people’s lives—it is as cruel as it is unjust. Our communities, and particularly schools, are already feeling the effects of rising anti-immigrant rhetoric. Students are living with constant, intense fear that their families will be deported and reports of harassment and bullying of immigrant students have increased. This decision will do nothing but further alienate immigrant communities.
This policy lacks moral fortitude and basic decency, standing in direct contrast to American values and to the diversity that makes this country great. By rescinding DACA we not only rip apart families and communities, we squander an opportunity to invest in young people whose talents and perseverance strengthen our economy and more importantly, our society. What the president is saying to this innocent population is that they are not welcome – that they do not belong – in spite of the myriad contributions they make to this country.
We stand with the DREAMers—we won’t abandon our neighbors during this time.