Make Them Hear You! is a weekly feature on KGNU, produced by Chris Mohr, letting listeners know how they can have their voices heard on issues up before Congress. You can hear it Wednesday mornings at 8.20am during the Morning Magazine.
Donald Trump is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program in six months. This gives Congress time to formally repeal, extend or replace the DACA program, which most Republicans believed was an overreach of executive authority. But Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who has called on Trump to stand up for the Dreamers, tweeted, “After teasing Dreamers for months with talk of his ‘great heart,’ POTUS slams door on them. Some ‘heart’…”
The Center for American Progress estimates that ending DACA would cut over $856 million from Colorado’s gross domestic product and endanger 17,000 young Coloradans, 95% of whom are either working or are in school, and who know no other home. DACA kids gave information about their status and location to the Obama Administration to obtain this legal but temporary deferment, so if DACA is rescinded by Congress, ICE will have an easy time rounding up 800,000 DACA youths nationwide. As Sen Lindsey Graham said, “They came out of the shadows at the invitation of their government.” Republican Mike Coffman is vocal in his support of the Dream Act, which would make DACA permanent and give the dreamers a path to citizenship. Senator Cory Gardner is being cagey on the issue. The bipartisan Dream Act gives permanent legal status to DACA recipients and a path to citizenship. Senate bill. 1615 sponsored by Lindsey Graham, (Senate) / and Lucille Roybal-Allard’s House bill 3440 are being given an 18% chance of passage but may be developing momentum now that the President has handed the issue over to Congress. Almost 2/3 of Americans support DACA. If you’re concerned about the fate of the Dreamers, you can call, write or email your Senators and Representatives yourself and ask for answers and share your concerns.
In the meantime, Immigration and Customs Enforcement—ICE– has asked the National Archives and Record Administration, which guides federal agencies on how to maintain records, to approve its plan for destroying records related to its detention operations. ICE wants to begin routinely destroying 11 sets of records, including those related to sexual assaults, solitary confinement and deaths of people in their custody. Other records subject to destruction include communications from the public reporting detention abuses. People across the country have denounced human rights abuses in the detention system for years. Many of the records that ICE wants to destroy offer proof of the mistreatment of people in their custody. For example, this year, the privately owned Adelanto Detention Facility alone has seen three immigrant deaths in three months. If you have an opinion about the destruction of ICE records, you can call the public comment line for Elaine Duke, Secretary of Homeland Security in Washington, at 202-282-8495.