On Wednesday, June 29th, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery joined 9 other attorneys general and a governor in sending a letter to the Trump administration with an ultimatum: end the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program or they'll sue. The letter comes just weeks after the program's five year anniversary. Slatery and the other signatories give the president until September 5th, 2017 to formally rescind the program or they'll challenge DACA in court.
Attorney General Slatery was one of 26 attorneys general who sued the Obama administration to block the 2014 program for parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders (DAPA) and the expansion of the 2012 DACA program. The 2014 programs, which would have benefited a estimated 38,000 in Tennessee, were enjoined by a federal judge as the lawsuit stalled in court. On June 15th, President Trump formally rescinded the 2014 memo which created the programs. According to the letter sent on June 29th, if the Trump administration doesn't rescind the 2012 DACA program by the deadline, they will expand the existing lawsuit to challenge DACA. Since the program's inception five years ago, the lives of more than 8000 young immigrants in Tennessee have been transformed. With DACA, youth are protected from deportation and are authorized to work in the U.S. The DACA program has been incredibly successful, creating opportunities for immigrant youth to more fully participate in and contribute to their communities. Thousands more Tennessee youth will be eligible to apply in the future if the program remains in tact. Terminating DACA would have detrimental effects on immigrant families, our communities, and our economy.
It is shameful that AG Slatery would join forces with other extremist AGs to launch an attack on DACA recipients and try to put 8000+ Tennessee youth in the deportation pipeline. For years, we've built a powerful coalition of educators, employers, faith leaders, and community members who stand with DACA recipients and against deportations. Now is the time to take action!