DACA reactions and rallies around West Michigan

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Several West Michigan lawmakers and area residents are reacting to this morning’s announcement of the ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The DACA program, enacted by President Obama in 2012, allowed for the children who came to the U.S. undocumented to avoid deportation.  President Trump rescinded the program Tuesday, and gave the program six months in which Congress could enact a similar program.

Currently, DACA protects nearly 800,000 people living, studying and working nationwide. According to the ACLU of Michigan, more than 6,400 Michiganders benefit from DACA and ending the program would cost Michigan more than $418.6 million in annual gross domestic product losses.

“This is an incredibly cruel day for DREAMers,” said Miriam Aukerman, senior attorney with the ACLU of Michigan.

“DREAMers are young people who have been contributing to this country, who’ve grown up here, lived here, many of whom don’t have any memory of the countries that are on their paperwork. They are as American as you or I are, and yet they have their dreams today were dashed. The President took away 800,000 people’s lives in one fell swoop.”

Governor Rick Snyder (R – MI) released the following statement Tuesday in defense of DACA:

“We are the best Michigan when we are a diverse Michigan – one that is made up of people whose stories and journeys are not identical. One path to success and prosperity looks different than the next, which should be celebrated and encouraged. Many are working toward success under the existing DACA, and for the certainty of their future Congress should act quickly to authorize and clarify their status.

“In Michigan we will continue to honor everyone’s journey who has become part of our family of 10 million people, and remain the most welcoming state in the nation for immigrants and dreamers seeking prosperity, a home and a community that is accepting of their family and their desire to succeed in America.”

Rallies in support of DACA are scheduled for 5:00 p.m. at Bronson Park in Kalamazoo and at 7:00 p.m. at Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids.  The Grand Rapids Public Schools are making a statement of support of DACA at 6:00 p.m. at the school administration building before their regularly scheduled board meeting.

U.S. Representative Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph.) made the following statement:

“For these young men and women, the United States is their home. They’ve been raised in our neighborhoods, attended our schools, served in our military, and worked in our communities. I’ve met with countless concerned individuals impacted by DACA and heard from local universities, restaurant and small business owners, as well as my farmer friends who all agree we must take care of these folks. This is why I’ve long-supported using a compassionate but accountable way to legislatively address these undocumented minors brought to our country through no fault of their own.

“Rather than executive order, it is the responsibility of Congress to work together on fair, rigorous, and bipartisan legislation that addresses the long-term uncertainty facing these young people. To that end, I have already co-sponsored two bills that represent common-sense ways to address DACA. In the coming weeks and months I will continue to work with anyone to fix our long-broken immigration system and to give certainty to Dreamers who know no country but America.”

Background: Upton is a co-sponsor of H.R. 496, the BRIDGE Act, and the Recognizing America’s Children (RAC) Act.

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D – MI) tweeted:

U.S. Representative Justin Amash (R – Grand Rapids) tweeted:

U.S. Representative Bill Huizenga (R – Grandville) released this statement:

“The only way to achieve concrete and lasting immigration reform is for Congress to formulate and pass bipartisan legislation. It is my hope that both Republicans and Democrats will rise to the challenge and focus on crafting solutions that move us forward instead of engaging in rhetoric that is geared toward dividing our nation.”  

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette:

“America must have a hopeful and welcoming immigration policy. Our immigration system is broken and Congress should pass corrective legislation, and we should not punish the children who see America as a beacon of hope.”

We’ll have more reactions as they become available.

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  • steve

    When will these people get it through their heads that Obama broke the law when he rolled out his red carpet and invited them in? Ever wonder why so many people today have such a blatant disregard for the laws of our country? It’s the result of liberalism run amok. I hope that the Congress can come up with a plan to help those who truly want to become citizens to stay long enough to do so. The rest can get out of our country. This is the United States, not Latin America North.

  • Alan

    This is Brilliant! POTUS45 fills a campaign promise, and puts the monkey squarely on congresses back where it belongs. If you like your DACA you can keep your DACA. You got 6 months to make it a law. I believe E.O.s by any POTUS should be eliminated. This is lawmaking by fiat, and simply unconstitutional.

      • 6thstreet

        Threatening? The average age of deca is 25
        there parents knowingly broke us federal law.
        America has the right and responsibility to it own citizen first and foremost .If the people have a issue with there own nation issues they need to protest to there nation goverment and get them to fix there problems .

  • 6thstreet

    There no reason all they illegal in west Michigan should not be round up and deported .
    illegal immigration in Michigan, cost broken down:
    $367 million went to education
    $87.6 million to healthcare
    $66 million to justice and law enforcement
    $143 million to public assistance
    $255 million to general government services

    Michigan had 20 million shortfall last year alone. just getting rid of the illegal aliens in Michigan in one year would save Michigan budget for next 20 years.
    plus DECA not about kids the average age is 25 .there not little 5 years old.If the have a problem first blame there criminal parents ,there all criminal minute crossed border illegal ,second get there own government in Mexico fix there problem .it not a white ,black or brown than it a American verses Mexican than

  • Harvey WB

    To Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette,
    Bill I am very disappointed in you as our state chief law enforcement official. Our immigration system is NOT broken, only the enforcement of the laws. By your statement you out yourself as one of those who condone the lack of law enforcement. You obviously do not take your oath of office seriously. This is what happens when political party decides to be a sub-section of the opposition and moves to the left.