President Donald Trump’s decision on Tuesday to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is being condemned as “un-American” by the The Los Angeles LGBT Center.
An estimated 36,000 DACA participants are LGBT and the Center is calling on the U.S. Congress to take immediate action to reverse the policy change.
“It is a clear message to the LGBT community that we are not part of Trump’s America,” Center CEO Lori L. Jean said in a statement. “Eliminating DACA will cause great pain to individuals, families, and communities across the country with ripple effects that will devastate this nation. It is irresponsible. It is reprehensible. It is un-American.”
The Obama-era policy allows young people who came to the U.S. as children to remain in the country. Trump, who let Attorney General Jeff Sessions announce that DACA is being rescinded, is giving lawmakers six months to preserve the program's protections.
DACA recipients will begin losing their status March 5, 2018.
Trump (seen above holding a Pride flag during his prediential campaign) later insisted in a statement: “I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents.”
According to the Jean, Trump’s timing could not have been worse and that he “would rather be a bully than a leader.”
“On the heels of the national disgrace in Charlottesville, the millions of people in Texas and Louisiana are still suffering in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and the thousands of transgender members of the U.S. military are reeling after their patriotism was rebuked by their Commander in Chief, the President has chosen this moment to end DACA and deliberately cause great harm to tens of thousands of young people,” Jean said.
“Again this president has targeted some of the best, and most vulnerable, among us: young people who came to America as children and are as deserving of the same rights and responsibilities of all Americans. When this administration tells these young people to ‘go home,’ they are choosing to cruelly ignore the fact that they are already home.
For LGBTQ DACA recipients, the consequences of rescinding DACA are particularly dire. They would be at risk of not only being deported to countries they haven’t set foot in since they were children, but to places where their lives could be in jeopardy.
For anyone who currently has DACA, their work authorization is valid until the expiration date. If work authorization expires before March 5, 2018, participants can apply to renew it for two more years but must do so by October 5, 2017, according to Immigration Equality.