Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and local advocacy groups are defending the federal Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals program amid speculation that President Donald Trump will end the program.
Following media reports that Trump could end the program as soon as Friday, a vigil for DACA has been planned for 6pm today in downtown Oakland at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza at Broadway and 14th Street.
... who are currently working toward the American dream in the ultimate nation of immigrants.... #DACA— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) August 31, 2017
... to lawfully seek higher education + employment in the USA. #DACA.— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) August 31, 2017
A group of community organizations, including the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, Educators for Fair Consideration and California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance organized the vigil.
DACA allows for renewable work permits for certain undocumented immigrant youth and young adults for two-year periods, during which time they have a reprieve from being deported. President Barack Obama created the program in 2012.
The program is still law, but many, including the United States Council of Mayors, fear that Trump will phase it out by not renewing or issuing new DACA permits.
"The simple fact that Trump is threatening to end the DACA program is reprehensible and breaks a promise made to nearly 800,000 young people who are currently working toward the American dream in the ultimate nation of immigrants," Schaaf said today.
The mayor said there are approximately 17,000 DACA-eligible young people in Oakland and Alameda County "who have made the most of their opportunity to lawfully seek higher education and employment in the United States."
Schaaf vowed to protect the young immigrants from what she described as "the devastating impacts of family separation and deportation."
Bipartisan mayors representing the US Conference of Mayors have called on Trump to continue the program and allow young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children to continue to live, work and study in the US and contribute to the nation's economy.