The United States Chamber of Commerce and other groups immediately announced their opposition to President Donald Trump’s plan to end a program which provides amnesty for the children of illegal immigrants.
Former President Barack Obama created the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), with an executive order in 2012 to protect illegal immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.
The Chamber of Commerce focused on the economic benefits of DACA and also on the promises made to its beneficiaries.
“With approximately 700,000 DACA recipients working for all sorts of businesses across the country, terminating their employment eligibility runs contrary to the president’s goal of growing the U.S. economy,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce senior vice president Neil Bradley said in a statement sent to The Daily Caller.
The program is “sound public policy,” Bradley also said. “Individuals enrolled in good faith and became ingrained in our communities and the nation’s economy. To reverse course now and deport these individuals is contrary to fundamental American principles and the best interests of our country.”
Bradley said he urges the Trump administration and Congress to “work together to quickly find a legislative solution before the program expires.”
Members of Congress are also coming out against the plan to end DACA.
Rep. Dave Reichert, a Republican from the state of Washington, has announced his support for DACA and urged House Speaker Paul Ryan to work toward crafting legislation to reinstate the amnesty program through actual legislation.
“Children who were brought here by no fault of their own see America as their country and their home,” Reichert said in a statement sent to TheDC. “They are our friends, neighbors, colleagues, spouses, and honored members of the military willing to sacrifice their life for our freedom. Punishing these individuals who have contributed so much to our communities and for a crime they did not commit is not in the American DNA.”
Reichert urged Congress to consider his Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy (BRIDGE) Act, which would essentially implement DACA for three years until Congress creates more permanent legislation.
Other groups including the Association of American Universities and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of left-leaning civil rights groups, have denounced the decision to end DACA.
“I am appalled by this administration’s disregard for the lives of thousands of young people brought to the United States as children,” American Universities president Mary Sue Coleman said in a statement sent to TheDC.
The Leadership Conference called the Trump administration’s decision to terminate DACA “inhumane, cruel and shameful.”
“Ending DACA will devastate the lives of young men and women who have essentially known no home other than America,” the coalition group also said.
“This administration often talks about law and order, but ending DACA does not make us safer,” the group added. “Sending people deeper into the shadows will only hurt our economy, make our communities less safe, and darken the indelible stain on the Trump administration.”
DACA protects roughly 800,000 illegal immigrants. Many of the immigrants protected under the executive order are now adults.