The City of Boston and local organizations in Mission Hill and surrounding neighborhoods have denounced the federal government’s recent decision to potentially rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and are offering support to those who DACA protects.
DACA, a program put in place by President Obama by means of an executive order, protects nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. The Trump administration has issued a directive saying that it is “unconstitutional” and gave Congress six months to pass a replacement before it begins phasing out its protections.
Alexandra Oliver-Davila, executive director of Sociedad Latina, said that Sociedad Latina “stands with the DREAMers.”
“This is just another targeting of immigrants by the Trump administration that is disturbing. Socidedad Latina does not ask for the status of our students and families,” Oliver-Davila said.
Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF) released a statement saying that the Trump administration’s decision was cruel and immoral.
“We urge our representatives and senators in Washington D.C. to pass the 2017 Dream Act, which will protect the almost 800,000 DACA recipients who make positive contributions to our society as parents, students, workers, and business owners every day,” wrote Barbara Civill, director of development and communications at HSTF. “HSTF has supported many DACA recipients in recent years, and remains fiercely committed to doing so.”
City Life/Vida Urbana, partnering with Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, Southern JP Health Center, First Baptist Church JP, Tree of Life, Acedone, SIM, and HSTF, have been raising funds to help pay DACA renewal fees in the community. City Life will also conduct legal workshops in the community to help DACA recipients reapply. Each renewal application costs $495. The deadline to donate funds was Oct. 5.
Mayor Walsh, at a press conference, said that the City of Boston is against the decision to rescind DACA.
“The President is betraying 800,000 DREAMers across the United States of America. This is not enforceable, this is persecution. It’s targeting of groups of people not because of what they did, but because of who they are,” Walsh said. “DREAMers are as American as Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump. This is worse than a broken promise, this is betrayal. In Boston, we’re not backing down an inch. We will fight back, and we already are fighting back. We are committed to our young people. We are committed to protecting immigrants and their families in our city the way we would protect anyone in our family, because they are our family.”
Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Tommy Chang and Boston Teachers Union (BTU) President Jessica Tang also released a statement on the decision:
“We stand shoulder-to-shoulder in fighting for the continued protection of all DREAMers, those law-abiding young people who have come to this country — often through no choice of their own — and have grown up and been educated here. These are hardworking students, employees, and even members of the military who enrich and strengthen our communities. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) reflects our values as a country by offering 800,000 of these young men and women the opportunity to gain a new freedom and security to work toward achieving their dreams, including getting an education and going to college, and to contribute to the country they call home.”