RMIAN Statement on the Future of DACA

We believe that justice for immigrants means justice for all.

September 1, 2017

Since the inception of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, RMIAN has worked tirelessly to help eligible youth in Colorado apply for this important protection and open doors of opportunity. RMIAN has witnessed the amazing courage and hard work of DREAMers, and been inspired by their journeys of higher education, employment, and family unity. RMIAN stands in solidarity with all DACA recipients and their families, and is adamantly opposed to any termination or reduction of the program.

“To end DACA would be a gross injustice and betrayal to the thousands of young immigrants who came forward, trusting in the rule of law, in order to more fully participate in the country that they call home. DACA recipients embody the very best of the United States, and to deny them the opportunity to live free from the threat of deportation and to end their continued work authorization is a tragedy, and a detriment to our country as a whole,” said RMIAN’s Executive Director Mekela Goehring.  

“For the President to end DACA in the name of the rule of law is the worst hypocrisy just days after he pardoned Joe Arpaio for a crime involving racial discrimination in law enforcement. For the President to end DACA in the name of immigration policy rejects all of the values — hard work, getting an education, and contributing to a better society for all Americans — that this country has always held dear,” said RMIAN Founding Board Member and UCLA Law Professor Hiroshi Motomura.

“We are devastated and outraged that the President plans to end DACA. By definition, people with DACA came to the United States as young children, have lived here for over ten years, have attended school here, and do not have criminal histories. They are children, students, lawyers, doctors, business owners, trusted employees, neighbors, friends, mothers and fathers. They are valued members of our community who will suddenly have their jobs and security taken away from them and who will be forced to live in fear of deportation by the government they trusted. We stand with all the DREAMers and call on Congress to provide them with meaningful protection,” said RMIAN’s Children’s Program Managing Attorney Ashley Harrington.

“Terminating DACA would have an immediate and devastating impact on the thousands of Colorado residents who have been approved for the program. Termination of the program would have wide-reaching, negative repercussions for the businesses that employ DACA recipients, the schools and universities that DACA recipients attend, and threaten the stability of the families who rely on the program. The uncertainty and anxiety plaguing my clients and young DREAMers across the country should serve as a moral imperative to our President and our legislators to take swift action to protect these young people. If they are indeed committed to the rule of law, the ball is squarely in their court to take the necessary action to protect them,” said RMIAN Equal Justice Works Emerson Fellow Attorney Elizabeth Zambrana.

RMIAN will continue to fight to advance the legal rights of our fellow Coloradans of immigrant backgrounds. We stand for inclusion, equality, and justice and will fight for due process and equal access to justice for all.  

For additional information about RMIAN and ways you can help, please visit www.rmian.org or contact Executive Director Mekela Goehring at mgoehring@rmian.org or (720) 370-9102.

*photo includes RMIAN attorney Elizabeth Zambrana (right) and a client who received DACA through RMIAN