Waking up to ashes from forest fires covering the kitchen table this morning was like an ominous metaphor for a world that feels like it is burning down around us.
This morning, the Trump administration rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, removing legal protections for 800,000 young people who registered their information so they could work and study legally—with the understanding it would never be used to target them.
This broadly-supported program set up by the previous administration in 2012 protects the children of immigrants who were raised in the United States, often referred to as ‘DREAMers.’
Participants in this program—many of whom are LGBTQ—are part of our communities and they have been since childhood. America is their home.
This cruel move threatens all DACA recipients with deportation from the place they have lived their entire lives—where they have completed their education, built communities, and started careers. Forcing Congress to create new legislation to replace DACA with a tight deadline, and in the midst of a budget crisis, leaves the fate of so many in a dire state of limbo.
And it sends the heartbreaking message that DREAMers and immigrants are not wanted here because of who they are.
How exactly are we going to ‘make America great again’ by targeting vulnerable groups, rejecting them as being unworthy of inclusion and protection, and kicking them out of their homes? This cold-hearted tactic undermines every single one of our American values.
What we have witnessed in just the past few weeks has been nearly unfathomable. The directive banning transgender people from serving in the military, as well as Trump’s refusal to speak out against the appalling display of hate by white supremacists in Charlottesville clearly signaled this administration’s blatant approval of transphobic and racist ideology and practice.
An America that rejects people based on who they are, denies opportunities from people trying to make meaningful contributions, and targets people based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or legal status will never be great.
And it is not country we have been trying to build together. At Pride Foundation, we believe every single person living in this country should be free to be who they are without fear of deportation, violence, or restricted opportunities.
The viciousness of this administration is not going to let up, and it did not emerge without tangible and visible support.
As LGBTQ people, we know what it’s like to be targeted, rejected, and hated because of who we are. That’s why we urge you to continue to find ways to resist and speak out in any way you can:
- Contact your legislators to support the DREAM Act.
- Engage with your friends and family.
- Show up at events and rallies.
- Sign the petition telling Trump how important DACA is.
- Share the Mental Health Toolkit with DACA recipients and others who might be impacted by this recent news.
It is going to take every single one of us doing every single thing we can to show that our country is a place where we all should be welcomed and safe, and where the humanity of everyone is respected.