Trump’s Decision to End DACA Could Put 75K LGBT Young People’s Lives At Risk, Reactions

DACAFormer Anti-Trump Rally in Boston
Photo: TRT Archives

“This administration just turned the lives of tens of thousands of our community members upside down”

WASHINGTONWith the stroke of a pen filled with cruelty, Donald Trump has decided to strip close to 800,000 immigrant Americans and their families of their wellbeing, safety and stability by terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

“But today, that shadow has been cast over some of our best and brightest young people once again,” said President Barack Obama via an official statement. “To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong.  It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love.  And it is cruel. …”

“Today, the Trump administration needlessly took aim at the estimated 800,000 young people, including over 75,000 LGBT people, who came to the United States as children, work, pay taxes, and are protected from deportation under DACA,” said Kate Kendell, National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director. “In doing so, the Trump administration rescinded not only this program but our country’s promise to protect these young people—many of whom have never known a life outside of the U.S.”

“After his unfounded smear of transgender service members, President Trump has now decided to take aim at children of immigrants,” said LGBT Equality Caucus Executive Director Roddy Flynn. “This cruel decision goes against not just overwhelming public opinion, but basic human decency. The hundreds of thousands of young people covered by DACA know no other home than America. To rip these protections away will force them out of jobs, destabilize families and businesses, and send shockwaves through the U.S. economy.

“Previously, this President pledged he would handle Dreamers with ‘heart,’” Flynn continued, “But that promise has proven to be just as meaningless as his pledge to ‘protect’ the LGBT community.”

TransEquality‘s ED, Mara Keisling, said via a statement that many “DACA recipients are LGBT Americans whose very lives would be in dire danger should they be deported to countries they have not seen since childhood.”

Equality Texas also reacted to the news by stating that their organization “knows first hand how the Latinx LGBTQ community is experiencing an intense and complicated time living within the United States. In Texas alone, so much remains to be done to ensure each and every LGBTQ Texan, undocumented or DACAmented, can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.”

The decision to go after the immigrant community in Texas now could be fatal to many families displaced by Harvey’s flooding in the state.

According to a recent study and information released by Equality Texas, there are over 75,000 LGBTQ DREAMers in the U.S. and over 36,000 of them have participated in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The third largest immigrant population in the U.S. is in Houston, where thousands of families have been forced out of their homes by Hurricane Harvey. Undocumented immigrants displaced by the hurricane’s devastation may not be eligible for disaster assistance unless they apply on behalf of their U.S. citizen child.

For the 11 percent of DACA recipients who identify as LGBT, today’s announcement is even more chilling. In an announcement that lasted only minutes, this administration just turned the lives of tens of thousands of our community members upside down, putting their dreams, their futures, and potentially their safety at risk.

“What makes us American is not a question of what we look like, or where our names come from, or the way we pray,” said Pres. Obama via his statement. “What makes us American is our fidelity to a set of ideals – that all of us are created equal; that all of us deserve the chance to make of our lives what we will; that all of us share an obligation to stand up, speak out, and secure our most cherished values for the next generation. …”

We join with the millions of others who pledge to do all in our power to resist this brutally vicious and depraved directive and to stand with these young people.”

[From a Compilation of News Releases]

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