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UNITED STATES | Carib-American legislators condemn Trump’s decision to terminate DACA programme

Featured Brooklyn based US Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, daughter of Jamaican immigrants Brooklyn based US Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, daughter of Jamaican immigrants
NEW YORK, Sept 6,  CMC – Caribbean American legislators have strongly condemned US President Donald J. Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era executive action that shields young, undocumented Caribbean and other immigrants, known as “Dreamers,” from deportation.

“This reckless and cruel decision constitutes a vicious attack on hundreds of thousands of young women and men who want to attend college, find jobs, and participate in our civil society,” US Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).

DACA“Their contributions – and the contributions of all immigrants – to this nation are enormous, and will only increase in the coming years.

“Donald Trump has chosen, however, to punish them, in a misguided effort to undermine the proud legacy of President Obama and to satisfy anti-immigrant white supremacists who are afraid of our modern, diverse nation,” added the representative for the predominantly Caribbean 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn.

“Throughout the history of the United States, there are decisions we have come to regret. I am certain that future generations will deeply regret this terrible decision as well.

“We, therefore, have a shared responsibility to resist this policy. I urge my colleagues in Congress to enact legislation restoring the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in a manner consistent with the best of our history and values,” she adde.

New York City Councilmember Jumaane Williams, the son of Jamaican immigrants, said that, “foremost, nothing this administration does should come as a surprise to people of goodwill.

“To formally rescind the DACA program and order the Dept. of Homeland Security to stop processing any new applications sends a continued message that some lives matter more than others in the eyes of this president,” said Williams, representative for the largely 45th Council District in Brooklyn.

“We should not take these types of steps lightly. History teaches us that deportations and the threats of them have been used as a measure to dehumanize, ostracize and as prelude to legitimize horrors that followed.

“Rather than simply expressing our outrage, those of us with the power to do so, need to formulate and enact plans of action. We need to challenge this executive action in the courts, while putting pressure on Congress to address this issue legislatively and humanely.

“As the son of Grenadian immigrants, I am urging the Caribbean community to mobilize with more urgency on this issue,” he said, adding “this issue will almost certainly endanger scores of Caribbean immigrants, and it is imperative that we join with our more active Latino brothers and sisters to make our voices heard loudly on this issue.

“We must all become a part of the resistance. This president has made it clear that he’s coming for all of us, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.”

New York State Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, the daughter of St. Martin and Aruba immigrants, said that Trump’s “move to force thousands of individuals who have worked hard to be productive members of society is now pressuring them to retreat back to the shadow”.

Richardson said the 43rd Assembly District in Brooklyn that she represents is “home to many immigrants,” adding that “this action taken by the Trump administration poses a real issue for our community.

“Families are worried that, after trusting in good faith, to self-report themselves to government for legitimacy that they may now face consequences. This will lead to increased public mistrust and setbacks in our immigration policy, which will hurt our community in the 2020 census.”

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, who traces his roots to Puerto Rico, described as “an affront to everything we stand for in Brooklyn,” Trump’s decision to revoke DACA, stating that one third of all residents in the borough are immigrants.

He warned that Trump’s decision “will tear apart families and communities, while forcing young people to live in the shadows – an action that could have real consequences for Brooklyn’s public safety.

“With our first-in-the-nation Immigration Unit, we are working to avoid triggering unnecessary and harmful deportations,” Gonzalez said.

“And we are sending a message that no immigrant in our community should ever fear interacting and cooperating with law enforcement because of the threat of being deported.

“I stand with New York leaders, like Governor Cuomo, Attorney General Schneiderman and Mayor de Blasio, in vigorously opposing this policy, and I will work with them, where appropriate, to protect the countless young people in Brooklyn whose lives are affected by it,” he added.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said Trump’s decision to rescind DACA is an “egregious affront to those values” that Brooklyn stands for, adding that the decision “stands in contrast to compassion and decency.”

“Young people who have lived in Brooklyn for years and contributed to our society should not have to be forced to leave this country they have always called home as a result of the actions of their parents or guardians,” Adams said. “We are a nation of immigrants and always will be. No piece of legislation or draconian measure will change that. It is up to us to raise our voices and resist.

“To ensure we can protect every Brooklynite potentially impacted by this policy change, I urge Congress to swiftly pass the DREAM Act, so that everyone who wants to play by the rules, contribute to our society, and be a part of our American social fabric, can do so with a path to citizenship,” he added.

As the nation awaited Trump’s decision, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told the pre-Caribbean Carnival Breakfast on Monday, at the Lincoln Terrace Court in Brooklyn, that he would take legal action if the president followed through with his threat to deport Caribbean and other “Dreamers.”

“Two hundred miles away in Washington, D.C., something horrible is going to happen. I can’t believe we’re going to await an announcement about who’s going to take away the right of our young people,” said de Blasio.

Rather than making the announcement himself, Trump, uncharacteristically, on Tuesday dispatched US Attorney General Jeff Sessions to deliver the bad news to the nation and the world.

“The programme, known as DACA, that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded,” Sessions told reporters, adding that “the policy was implemented unilaterally, to great controversy and legal concern.”

“The effect of this unilateral executive amnesty, among other things, contributed to a surge of minors at the southern border with humanitarian consequences. It denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs.”

Trump said Congress now has the opportunity to advance responsible immigration reform that puts American jobs and American security first.

In a very rare public statement, former President Barack Obama decried Trump’s dismantling of DACA as a “cruel” and “self-defeating” decision, urging the US Congress to work together for a solution.

Obama’s policy granted protection and work permits to about 800,000 young, undocumented Caribbean and other immigrants.

“Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question.

Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us.

“They are that pitcher on our kid’s softball team, that first responder who helps out his community after a disaster, that cadet in ROTC who wants nothing more than to wear the uniform of the country that gave him a chance,” Obama said, stating that Trump’s decision violates the “spirit” and “basic decency” of the nation, and will have little impact of Trump’s pledge to give jobs back to natural-born American workers.

  • Countries: United_States