Leggett, Council Blast Trump Decision on DACA

County Executive Ike Leggett and the County Council issued statements Wednesday on President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Last week, Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard issued her own statement urging Trump to continue the program. Here are the statements:

Montgomery County Council Statement

The Montgomery County Council denounces President Trump’s decision to dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The temporary status provided through DACA empowered about 800,000 young people, who came to the United States as children and are often referred to as “Dreamers,” to establish roots in our community, earn college degrees and obtain the skills and training necessary to secure meaningful jobs.  DACA has provided a sense of safety and ladders of opportunity for these young people and enhanced America’s economy.

President Trump’s decision on DACA will force these young people back into hiding and destroy their chances for full and productive lives.  His decision flies in the face of racial and social justice and will have an economic impact on our nation.  A December 2016 policy brief from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center estimates that 685,195 young immigrants will become unemployed if DACA is eliminated.  This could mean a $24.6 billion loss for Social Security over the next decade.  The Cato Institute reports that rescinding DACA will cost Maryland about $3 billion from 2018-2028.

The young people with temporary status provided through DACA have played by the rules and worked hard to establish their lives in America.  That is why the Montgomery County Council will continue to stand by our “Dreamers.”  We will work with our representatives in Congress to stop this misguided and unjust decision.

Regardless of what happens at the federal level, Montgomery County remains an open and welcoming community for all its residents who are working hard to achieve the American dream.

Leggett Statement

I am disappointed by President Trump’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. These young people are in the United States in an undocumented status through no fault of their own – and they deserve better. I urge the President to work with both parties in the House and Senate to craft as soon as possible a common-sense program to protect these young men and women.

Pollard Statement

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is critically important to thousands of community college students throughout the United States, allowing educational and career opportunities for undocumented young people who were brought to the United States as minors. More than 15,500 people in Maryland had been approved under DACA as of June 2016 and hundreds of them are currently students at Montgomery College. As the Trump Administration considers the future of this program, Montgomery College urges the Administration to maintain DACA, and to work with Congress to implement a long-term solution that supports the more than 750,000 young people registered under DACA nationwide.

Montgomery College is committed to serving its community by providing education to all who seek it. Hundreds of DACA students are studying diligently at Montgomery College, preparing themselves for the local workforce and improving their chances to contribute to our local economies. Their talents, perspectives, and work ethic are integral to the character of our College and our county. Terminating or phasing out DACA would leave thousands of young people in the state of Maryland in limbo, including many of our students, who would be unable to work legally and, thus, could not afford tuition.  As our Board of Trustees expressed in its statement in January, ‘The College will continue to defend the rights of all persons to study and pursue opportunity through education, free from fear and distraction. Our institution will continue to be a place where diversity thrives and where difference is celebrated.

Montgomery College takes great pride in its diversity and its inclusive practices. When paired with equal educational opportunity, these enrich our communities immeasurably. They also bear witness to our nation’s history as a place of refuge for immigrants and refugees. DACA is a contemporary tool in this legacy, allowing individuals the dignity of work, creating social stability, and nurturing economic growth. The College urges the Trump Administration to affirm the contributions of DACA recipients to their communities in the US by maintaining this important program.

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