Hawaii’s representatives in the U.S. Congress strongly condemned the Trump administration’s decision Tuesday to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
As ABC News reported, the program’s phase out over the next six months leaves “the fates of Dreamers in the hands of Congress” and portrays the action “as one made in order to follow the rule of law.”
DACA is an immigration policy established under the Obama administration to allow some illegal immigrants who entered the country as minors to obtain a renewable permit of deferred action from deportation.
The delegates from Hawaii, home to a large immigrant population and heritage, are angered by the Trump administration’s decision.
“After months of empty rhetoric to the contrary, the president took the cruel and unnecessary step to eliminate DACA — exposing more than 800,000 young people to deportation,” U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said in a press release. “They are not criminals. They are inspiring young people aptly called DREAMers because of their dream of making a better life for themselves in the only country they know.”
“Ending DACA is the latest step this president has taken to attack minority communities and stoke the fear and divisiveness that served as pillars of his campaign and inform his presidency.”
Here’s what U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz had to say in a press release: “This is one of the most inhumane things this administration could do. It doesn’t matter where you stand on immigration. We should all be able to agree that people who came here as children, who have grown up as American as anyone else’s kids, should not be stripped away from the communities they’re a part of to go back to a country they don’t remember.”
Schatz said Trump had betrayed the trust of Dreamers, which will ruin lives.
U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said in a press release: “President Trump’s heartless and unnecessary decision to end the DACA program, while giving Congress an opportunity to act, belies the history behind DACA. Speaker Ryan can express sympathy for ‘those who have done nothing wrong,’ but the reality is Speaker Ryan and 197 other House Republicans voted against the 2010 DREAM Act.”
Hanabusa added, “If House Republicans want to solve this injustice, they should bring the DREAM Act to the House floor immediately and end the uncertainty caused by President Trump’s ill-advised DACA decision.”
U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also weighed in on the news.
“President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is wrong,” she said in a statement.
“In my home state of Hawaii, DACA has allowed more than 600 young people to remain legally in our country and contribute to our economy and society, including a member of my staff who came to the United States as a minor from Zimbabwe. Last week on Maui, I had the opportunity to hear from some of Hawaii’s DREAMers and hear their heart-wrenching stories about living in fear and in the shadows until DACA was put into effect.
“They cried as they shared their stories of the opportunity and freedom they have experienced because of DACA, and the fear of uncertainty in what lies ahead with the prospects of being forced to leave the only home they’ve ever known. Congress must act now to enact a permanent solution for these DREAMers and pass the bipartisan DREAM Act now.”
But U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sees things differently.
“To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest,” he said. “We cannot admit everyone who would like to come here. It’s just that simple.”