CHICAGO – January 19, 2019 – In an address from the White House this afternoon, President Trump proposed temporary protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders in exchange for $5.7 billion to fund a border wall, an attempt to end a government shutdown now in its fourth week. Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, issued the following statement in response:
“Compromise is urgently needed to end this shutdown, put government employees back to work, and advance productive dialogue on immigration policy and national security. Yet Americans of conscience must see today’s proposal for what it is: A cynical attempt to play political football with the lives of more than one million people with deep roots in the United States.
The need to build permanent protections for TPS and DACA beneficiaries is urgent, as is the need to invest in policies and programs that advance safety and security for all people across the Americas. Yet this proposal—spoken from the mouth of the man whose reckless policymaking has compromised the lives of millions of U.S. government employees, put hundreds of thousands of migrant families in harm’s way, and eroded the political stability of our hemisphere—makes a mockery of the notion of sensible compromise. The Trump Administration’s actions have already disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people and TPS holders. Keeping their protections and work permits in place is a necessary starting point, but these populations also deserve an opportunity to become legal permanent residents.
Building security solutions for Americans means fostering safety and security across the Americas. The roots of our woes—the drug trade, gang violence, eroding democratic institutions, and yawning inequality—are shared across borders. Attempting to ‘wall off’ these problems with additional militarization of our southern border, or by denying people their legitimate right to seek humanitarian protection and asylum, will only promote greater divisions in our society, while allowing our problems to fester.
Instead of cynical exploitation of legitimate concerns, we need constructive engagement by Democratic and Republican leaders.
Alianza Americas is a network of 50 immigrant-led organizations representing more than 100,000 families across the United States. It is the only US-based organization rooted in Latino and Caribbean immigrant communities that works transnationally to create an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable way of life. Learn more at alianzaamericas.org. COPAL is a member of Alianza Americas.