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Did U.S. step 'backwards' in rescinding DACA program?

Cary Ashby • Sep 6, 2017 at 9:00 PM

A top law enforcement official has responded to President Donald Trump's decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“As a nation we are at our best when humanity drives our decision making. Unfortunately, rhetoric, xenophobia and fear overruled reason today in the determination to end DACA,” said Chris Burbank, director of law enforcement engagement of the Center for Policing Equity, in a statement issued to the media Wednesday.

“In my experience, derisive and exclusionary behavior has only served to increase crime and disorder. The open participation of all individuals in a community creates trust and ultimately safety,” added the former chief of the Salt Lake City Police Department. “Today we stepped backwards, losing the trust and cooperation of 800,000 members of our community.”

On Tuesday, the Trump administration formally announced it will end the DACA program, putting an expiration date on the legal protections granted to about 800,000 people known as “DREAMers,” who entered the country illegally as children.

“I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws,” Trump said in a statement released by the White House.

The president also said he looks forward to working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to address immigration issues “in a manner that puts the hardworking citizens of our country first.”

The Huron County Department of Job & Family Services (JFS) doesn’t track the numbers of the migrant population it assists.

Regardless, director Jill Nolan said the children and families who might be impacted by Trump’s decision are educated in the local school systems and contribute to the work force, “so we should support them.”

“We would continue to offer services,” she added.

Children services administrator René King offered a similar message.

“We are open to serving families in need — that’s what we do,” she said.

Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke said the Trump administration, facing legal challenges to the DACA program, “chose the least disruptive option,” letting the program wind down in six months and placing the onus on a sharply divided Congress to enact former President Barack Obama’s executive action into law.

Duke, in a statement to National Public Radio, said no current beneficiaries will be affected before March 5.

“No new initial requests or associated applications filed after today will be acted on,” she added, also saying the decision to terminate DACA “was not taken lightly.”

“The Department of Justice has carefully evaluated the program's constitutionality and determined it conflicts with our existing immigration laws,” Duke said.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: National Public Radio and Reflector staff writer Cary Ashby contributed to this story.

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