Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Leaders from CAP and 19 Organizations Ask Sec. John Kelly to Halt Deportation of DREAMers in DHS Custody
Press Release

RELEASE: Leaders from CAP and 19 Organizations Ask Sec. John Kelly to Halt Deportation of DREAMers in DHS Custody

Washington, D.C. — Today, Neera Tanden, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress, and the heads of 19 other leading progressive organizations—ranging from traditional civil rights groups to immigrants’ rights groups to unions—sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly asking that he take immediate action to halt the deportations of Daniela Vargas of Mississippi and Daniel Ramirez of Seattle, as well as any other DREAMers—young unauthorized immigrants—in his custody, and release them back to their families and communities.

“These enforcement actions appear at odds with President Trump’s assurances that individuals with DACA should not worry about deportation,” reads the letter addressed to Secretary Kelly. “We would like to hear from you directly whether or not the Department of Homeland Security plans to honor President Trump’s statements expressing his support for DACA recipients.”

The recent actions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security “indicate that the Department is targeting certain DACA individuals for enforcement”—despite the fact that within days of taking the presidential oath, President Donald Trump promised DACA participants that they “shouldn’t be very worried” and that he was going to “take care of everybody,” says the letter. Furthermore, on February 16, President Trump promised once again that his administration would show “great heart” with DACA children and acknowledged they are some “absolutely, incredible kids.”

“Individuals with DACA contribute to the United States in powerful social and economic ways,” says Tanden in the letter. “They start businesses at twice the rate of the American public as a whole. They are economic consumers who purchase big-ticket items like their first homes and cars. Not only are they making the United States economically stronger, but they also work in large numbers in educational and health services, giving back to the country they love. Detaining these individuals not only runs counter to President Trump’s assurances, but these actions also make the economy weaker and waste valuable agency resources on individuals who present no danger to our community.”

The leaders of the following organizations are represented on the letter (in alphabetical order): American Civil Liberties Union, American Federation of Teachers, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC, Center for American Progress, Center for Community Change, Center for Law and Social Policy, Center for Popular Democracy, Human Rights Campaign, NAACP, National Council of La Raza, National Education Association, National Immigration Law Center, National LGBTQ Task Force, National Urban League, PolicyLink, Service Employees International Union, Sierra Club, United We Dream, and Voto Latino.

Access the letter here.

For more information or to speak to an expert on this topic, please contact Tanya Arditi at or 202.741.6258.