Sen. Menendez Reacts to Rescinding of DACA, Sends Message to DREAMers

Sen. Menendez Reacts to Rescinding of DACA, Sends Message to DREAMers

Newark, N.J.
– US Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J) issued the following statement in reaction to the announcement that the Trump Administration will rescind the Deferred Action for early Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) in the next six months.  Menendez, the highest-ranking Latino in the U.S. Congress and a national leader for immigrants’ rights, also sent a personalized message to the hundreds of thousands of young men and women who will be impacted by this decision.


“President Trump promised to do right by our nation’s DREAMers, but with this decision he has chosen once again to cloak his presidency with a white nationalist flag instead of the diverse fabric of our multicultural American society. By ending DACA, the Trump Administration is making a mistake of historic proportions for which our nation will pay dearly both in economic and moral capital. DREAMers are the motherhood and apple pie of the immigrant community and they’re a critical part of the solution to our many challenges as a country. Declaring open season on these model citizens – as General Kelly likes to call them – is cruel, inhumane and simply un-American.   

“The fact is today’s announcement makes the passage of a clean DREAM Act a national emergency. Congressional Republicans find themselves at another critical junction where they can put country over party by refusing to stand on the sidelines of this president’s self-destructive behavior. Make no mistake, history is on our side and it is my sincere hope Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan allow us to swiftly vote on a bill that enshrines legal protections for our DREAMers without any unrelated provisions or poison pills. I personally worked for years to convince the Obama administration to create the DACA program and I refuse to let its beneficiaries be further victimized in the name of nativist fear mongering. Now is not the time to sit idly by hoping extremists catch up with reality; it is time for elected leaders to do our job, stand up and protect those who cannot protect themselves.” 

“The story of DACA is a story I’ve come to tell with a great sense of pride and patriotism. After years of fearless advocacy, the government asked young DREAMers for their trust and faith. Since then, hundreds of thousands of DREAMers have been coming out of the shadows, passing criminal background checks, paying fees, and despite their natural human instinct for protection, voluntarily handing over personal information about themselves and their families to authorities they had been forced to hide from for most of their lives. These promising individuals trusted their government to acquire two-year renewable work permits and receive what they thought was protection from deportation. Now, half a decade since its implementation, DACA is universally accepted as an overwhelming success, a beacon of hope and an example to follow in solving our immigration challenge. And yet, here we are.

Menendez also sent a personalized message directly to the DACA recipients with whom he has closely worked for decades and whose livelihood will be upended by today’s decision by the Trump Administration:

“To all of the DREAMers this program helped bring out of the shadows – the 800,000 young men and women who came to this country as children through no fault of their own: Please stay strong and know you are not alone. Your fear is real but so is your resilience. Time will prove the actions of this President wrong, but we must fight now with the same vigor and strength that convinced President Obama to take action in 2012 and create DACA in the first place.

“I have never doubted you will help lead this nation into a brighter, more prosperous, more productive future and we need you to keep the dream alive. Let us use this tough moment to better educate those who refuse to understand what the immigrant experience, immigrant history, and immigrant heritage means to the progress of this nation. You have a lifelong ally in me. Your courage, your dedication and your resolve will continue to keep America great.” 



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