State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson denounced Attorney Jeff Sessions’s press conference today within minutes of the confirmation that the Trump Administration has rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for young people who entered the U.S. as undocumented children (it was open only to people who had arrived before the age of 16 and had been in the U.S. for at least 5 years without a return and re-entry; plus, a successful applicant had to either be a student or have a full-time job, and could not have any legal missteps).
“Our country made an honest deal with these students—study hard, earn your degree, and you will get a fair chance to compete for college. We should keep deals, not break them. We should support dreams, not defer and destroy them,” Torlakson said. “These students embody the American dream. Their hard work, energy, dedication, and diverse background help them contribute to our economy, while adding to the rich cultural heritage that makes California a dynamic global leader.”
Torlakson called on Congress to act swiftly to restore the program. “I urge Congress to step up, find a permanent path to citizenship, and protect these immigrants,” he said…calling the decision by Trump a “mean-spirited, political attack on students who are working hard to succeed. I want to let all those students know that the American Dream remains safe and secure in California,” he said…
The state has its own California Dream Act, which is unrelated to DACA and allows undocumented students to receive state financial aid for college. The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) operates this program and previously reminded students that the Commission will take all available legal precautions to protect California Dream Act information, which is used solely to determine eligibility for state financial aid and is not shared with any other government agency.
Among the 200,000 DACA recipients who live in California are those who consider Ferndale the only home they have ever known — and they live here with legal social security numbers and green cards (and with high school and college educations).
This is a promise: history will not be kind to a community that turns a blind eye toward trimmigrants and approves of (or stays silent on) the deportation of DACA recipients.
Trump may not keep his promises, but we do.