Congress Should Act Swiftly to Stop the Trump Administration's Rescission of DACA that Puts Young Immigrants at Risk

Statement of Robert Restuccia, Executive Director of Community Catalyst, regarding the Trump Administration’s announcement today that they will rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that has allowed immigrant youth to thrive in, and contribute to, our communities

(BOSTON, MA) - “Today’s announcement by the Trump administration of a March 5, 2018 date to begin phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is devastating news for over 800,000 young people – ‘dreamers’ – who have been able to study, work and contribute to their local communities because of the program since its inception in 2012. Elimination of this program will put thousands of young people who have resided in the United States since they were children at risk of undergoing deportation proceedings, being stripped of their health coverage and facing serious health and economic consequences.

“One of the most appalling pieces of this news is that DACA-enrolled people could lose access to their health care. Nearly 80 percent of DACA enrollees are currently working and many are receiving health coverage from their employer. Because of today’s action, hundreds of thousands of hard-working young people will potentially face job and health coverage losses, making them unable to care for their families and themselves. Thousands more could lose access to coverage they currently have through Medicaid or CHIP.

“This news comes as millions of people in the state of Texas continue to recover from Hurricane Harvey’s devastation. In addition to possibly having to rebuild their homes or recover from an injury, 121,000 DACA-enrolled people in the state (including 44,000 in the Houston area alone) will soon be put at risk for deportation.

“The ‘dreamers’ and their families are our friends, neighbors and coworkers. They are important contributors to the U.S economy and a vital, integral part of our communities. We should protect them and seek solutions that ensure their health and well-being instead of destroying their lives and tearing their families apart. Over 1,850 leaders from across the country including governors, corporate leaders, mayors, faith leaders and law enforcement officials all agree that we should protect ‘dreamers’ because they are our future.

“The Trump administration’s action today is a huge setback for the country and a stain on our proud history as a nation of immigrants. It stirs uncertainty, confusion and anxiety among ‘dreamers’ and their families. The onus is now on Congress to protect the program, and we hope they take immediate action to do so. Community Catalyst stands behind ‘dreamers’ and will continue to support initiatives that protect their lives and well-being and promote their contributions in our communities.”

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About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Read our blog at http://blog.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.

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