September 5, 2017  

SALT LAKE CITY, UT — The Trump administration today announced the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. The DACA program has served as a critical lifeline for nearly 800,000 young immigrants, or “DREAMers,” who came to this country as children and know the United States as their only home. 

In response to the announcement, ACLU of Utah Legal Director John Mejia said the following:

“Five years ago, the federal government made a deal with immigrant youth: As long as you come forward, register, and pass a criminal background check you can live, study, and work here. Hundreds of thousands of young people came out of the shadows and accepted the government’s offer in good faith and worked hard to succeed. Today, the government and President Trump went back on their word, threw the lives and futures of 800,000 Dreamers and their families into disarray, and injected chaos and uncertainty into thousands of families, workplaces and communities across America.”

There are approximately 9,700 DACA recipients in Utah, according to the Center for American Progress, with the vast majority of those recipients actively participating in the workforce. The loss of these workers will result in millions of dollars lost annually from Utah’s economy. 

“Thousands of these youth have used their DACA status to give back to our country in innumerable ways: they are our doctors, soldiers, and students,” said Mejia. “These are our neighbors, family, and friends.”

Since DACA was first introduced in 2012, the ACLU of Utah has been proud to work with countless students, volunteers, colleagues and community partners who are authorized to live and work in Utah under DACA.

“While this is a hard day for the immigrant community and America as a whole, we will continue to fight,” said Brittney Nystrom, ACLU of Utah Executive Director. “Nothing will deter these Americans, alongside their many allies in Utah and across the U.S., from achieving their dreams.  They should inspire all of us.”