(New York, NY) Rhea Wong, Executive Director of Breakthrough New York, today issued the following statement regarding the Trump administration’s announcement to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, known as DACA:
Hard-working immigrants built this country and made it what it is today: a beacon of democracy, hope and progress. By denying Dreamers a chance to stay and contribute, President Trump has ripped the fabric of our country and undermined our most cherished American principles and ideals.
We know that first-hand that Dreamers are hard-working and compassionate individuals whose talents and values make our country better. This year, Breakthrough New York had the honor of hiring college student Gabe Sanchez as a Teaching Fellow in our summer program. He is an invaluable member of our team who dedicated his summer to mentoring our middle school students in the SOuth Bronx and expanding their physics knowledge. He is also a DACA recipient whose dreams of teaching science and pursuing graduate studies are in jeopardy because of the Trump administration (read more about Gabe here and here).
At Breakthrough New York, our students aspire to succeed in their schools, in their careers, and in their lives. Whether DACA recipients or not, they mirror Dreamers in many ways: they range in age from 11 to 22, they have limited financial means but an abundance of ambition and grit, they are nearly all black, Latino, and Asian, and most importantly, they seek opportunity.
Repealing DACA threatens to forever impact families who sought a better life, and who have made contributions to strengthen our nation. These 800,000 young people are American in all ways, save one piece of paper. They are students, neighbors, co-workers and friends.
We will not stand by as our community is attacked. We will stand up for what is right and do everything we can to support Dreamers in these difficult months ahead. We vow to continue to provide our students with the intellectual tools and critical thinking skills to fight back against hateful ideals. We implore our elected leaders in Congress to work together to find a solution to keep Dreamers thriving in the US.
To make America great again means remembering what made it great in the first place.