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LETTER: TRUST backs immigrants

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We at the TRUST Collective-Chicago denounce the latest action by the Trump administration to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ( DACA ). The cessation of this executive order displaces over 800,000 young people, and unnecessarily disrupts millions more families and communities.

However, more than that, we denounce this decision because it attempts to dehumanize and isolate DACA recipients by reducing them to a policy item and shunting them out of a country that should understand the importance of equality, see others' humanity, and respect every individual's personhood. This is the time to treat others with grace and dignity - not the time to treat others as disposable commodities.

Many of the complaints lodged against DACA beneficiaries pain them as a drain on the United States. This not only reduces people to productivity, but is incorrect. DACA recipients have never been a threat to our democracy, economy, or workforce. On the contrary, they have strengthened the nation - DACA recipients contribute an estimated $2 billion a year in state and local taxes, and are contributing to Social Security.

These are young people who have grown up knowing the United States as their home- and this home has oftentimes undervalued their strength, tenacity, and determination. They have not, nor have they ever been, national security threats. They are our teachers, our nurses, our first responders. They are our neighbors, our colleagues, our fellow parishioners. And, most of all, they are our friends, our loved ones, our family.

They have given to this country in unquantifiable ways. While the announcement gives Congress the opportunity to resolve this program, we have little confidence in the current legislative and diplomatic ability to pass effective and comprehensive immigration reform- even when it involves young people who did not choose their immigrant status. Congress is more embattled than it was when President Obama issued this executive order, and is working with a more disjointed and inexperienced White House. It is not lost on us that this administration's actions have supported and perpetuated white supremacy, racism, and xenophobia.

These things are anathema to our democracy, and we are charging the Congress to work against this hatred. Congress members, we urge you to focus on the good of the nation and find a permanent legislative solution.

We urge our congressional delegation to co-sponsor the DREAM Act, or work on a comprehensive immigration reform.

We further urge this administration to the roles and positions they swore to uphold. We hold you to your promise not to deprive any person of life, liberty, or equal protection under the law. In spite of this administration's actions over the past eight months, we at the TRUST Collective-Chicago will continue to hold you to your oaths to this nation.

If you are looking for community events here in Chicago, The Resurrection Project is holding meetings to provide legal help, information, and more ways to advocate for DACA recipients. The upcoming meetings are on Tuesday, September 12, at Benito Juarez Academy, 1450 W. Cermak at 5:30pm; Tuesday, September 19, at La Casa, 1815 S. Paulina Street at 5:30pm; and, Tuesday, September 26, at Back of the Yards College Prep, 2111 W. 47th Street at 5:30pm.

The TRUST Collective

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