Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Trump Plan To End The DACA Program, Threatening Thousands of DREAMers

“After promising to show DACA recipients ‘great heart,’ the President has revealed he is as heartless as he is uninformed.  We live in an unprecedented time when our President seeks to divide us, not to unite us.  He rallies his dwindling supporters by exploiting fear and resentment, marginalizing those who are vulnerable and even those who risk their lives for our country and their communities.  It is shameful and far beneath the office he holds.

“Today President Trump is targeting yet another exemplary group of people who enrich the fabric of our society, our nation’s DREAMers.  They are our friends and our neighbors.  They serve in our armed forces and as first responders, they contribute to our schools and universities, and they work and serve in our communities.   DREAMers, by definition, came to the United States at no fault of their own as children.  They have since played by our country’s rules and seek only the chance to contribute to America – their home, and often the only country they remember.  When President Trump threatens to unravel the DACA program, he threatens not only thousands of DREAMers, but the American dream itself.  His action, with the complicity of Attorney General Sessions, is petty and malicious, and it is harmful in so many ways.

“Republicans control both the Senate and the House.  Some have already spoken out against the President's decision to abandon DACA.  But their words ring hollow if they are not ready to act upon them.  Democrats stand ready to protect DACA recipients and to fix our broken immigration system.  In 2013 I steered comprehensive immigration reform through the Judiciary Committee and the Senate, with a strong bipartisan vote.  It is long past time for the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House to show the courage and leadership that the President so clearly lacks.”

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[Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and a leading member of the Judiciary Committee.  In 2013, as Judiciary Chairman, Leahy steered the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill through the committee and through the Senate, on bipartisan votes.  House Republican Leaders refused to allow a vote in the House of Representatives.]

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