Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Contact: Lauren Lantry, lauren.lantry@sierraclub.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today in the midst of a national emergency along the Gulf Coast, Donald Trump’s Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, is set to announce the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, leaving it up to congress to protect the more than 800,000 young undocumented immigrants in the program. DACA, put in place by the Obama administration, provided protections from deportations and the ability to work and attend school for young undocumented immigrants, or Dreamers, brought to the U.S. as children. Houston is home to 56,800 dreamers.

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

Trump’s mean-spirited decision to terminate DACA endangers the safety of hundreds of thousands of our friends, family members, and neighbors. These are young people who came to the United States with a dream to make a better life, and they are making our country better as a result.

The immigrant rights and environmental movements’ concerns are intertwined. Those communities most threatened by Trump’s presidency — immigrants, communities of color, and women — are also most vulnerable to toxic pollution and climate change. The Sierra Club is in solidarity with all those who have helped strengthen our country through DACA and we strongly oppose the bigotry being stoked by the White House against immigrants.

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Supporting information

  1. Position statement on Dream Act, DAPA and DACA
  2. What you can do

Position statement on Dream Act, DAPA and DACA

The Sierra Club has issued statements praising the Dream Act, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) as ways to protect undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation and offer a pathway to citizenship.  The Trump administration has rescinded DAPA, is threatening to do the same to DACA, and has indicated an intention to veto the Dream Act, if passed.

At this time, the Sierra Club goes on record as reaffirming our support for these three important initiatives, our opposition to deportations that tear apart families and communities, and our support for an equitable and timely pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. The Sierra Club is in total solidarity with immigrants threatened by the Trump administration — the struggles to protect our communities and our environment cannot be separated.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), created by the Obama administration in June 2012, allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children to avoid deportation for a renewable two-year period and to apply for work permits.

Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) also known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents was an U.S. immigration policy proposed by the Obama administration to grant renewable work permits and exemption from deportation to certain undocumented parents of American citizens or lawful permanent residents.

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is a legislative proposal that would grant “conditional” citizenship status to DACA beneficiaries and other qualifying undocumented immigrants, allowing them to avoid deportation while qualifying for permanent resident status and citizenship.

We reserve the right to review specific legislative proposals on these topics and to support or oppose them based upon the details and what else might be included in the legislation. The Sierra Club will not support legislative packages that use these programs as a bargaining chip for xenophobic initiatives that would harm immigrants and our environment, such as funding for Trump’s border wall.

These programs seek to keep families and communities together while allowing immigrants to come out of the shadows and start down a pathway to citizenship.  As noted in our broader policy on immigration reform, we support establishing pathways for all undocumented residents to avoid deportation.

Adopted Sept. 5, 2017

Recommended actions to take in support of DACA

  1. Join a rally near you.  In dozens of cities from coast to coast, people are marching and demonstrating to defend DACA.  Click here to join a rally near you.
  2. Tweet up a storm.  People are showing their support for immigrants by tweeting at the state Attorneys General who want to remove DACA.  Click here for sample tweets.

DACA protest image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr

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