The fate of the temporary protections provided to more than 1.5 million Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, is in jeopardy, following DHS Secretary John Kelly’s meeting with Congressional Hispanic Caucus leadership last week.
In a drastic and harmful shift to federal Homeland Security policy, Secretary Kelly warned Congress that the administration would be unlikely to protect the continuation of DACA in federal court and the customary extension to TPS, yielding responsibility instead to Attorney General Jeff Sessions who gained notoriety in his previous charge as one of the nation’s most anti-immigrant Senators prior to being promoted to the post of Attorney General.
The meeting comes almost two weeks after ten Republican Attorney Generals threatened to sue the current administration for failure to immediately rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals following their victory in the courts to outlaw any implementation of a similar Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA).
“Immigrant youth of Florida have paved the way for the existence of DACA through their bold grassroots organizing over the past decade. They have courageously faced the threats of deportation head-on to uplift the stories of their families for a chance to have legal standing to live in the U.S. in recognition of all of the valuable contributions immigrants make to our nation’s economy and to the social fabric of this country. From their coming out of the shadows actions in 2008, to the 1,500 Trail of Dreams march to Washington D.C. in 2010, to the enactment of Florida’s in-state tuition law in 2014, the Florida Immigrant Coalition is committed to the immigrant youth movement’s legacy to defend and uplift the leadership of those affected by the threats to DACA,” stated Isabel Sousa-Rodríguez, Membership Director for the Florida Immigrant Coalition, in response to Kelly’s comments.
“In 2007, I was one of these undocumented youth. 10 years later now as a U.S. citizen, I embrace the role I have ascended to in Florida’s immigrant rights’ movement to keep fighting back and to never back down. Our movement is stronger now than we have ever been before and the dreams of our youth and TPS families will never be deterred or derailed by the misguided actions of Secretary Kelly or Attorney General Sessions,” added Sousa-Rodríguez.
The Florida Immigrant Coalition believes in a permanent path to legal status and citizenship similar to what has been proposed by Miami Representative Curbelo for the immigrant youth community, as suggested by DHS Secretary Kelly for the TPS community, and by Senator Feinstein of California about our nation’s farmworkers. Florida Immigrant Coalition calls on congress to move joint legislation that will protect these three communities from the cruel threats of deportation that they may face if the Trump administration betrays the people it currently protects through TPS and DACA.
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