On the same day President Donald Trump’s administration announced the end of the federal Deferred Action for Children Arrivals immigration program, or DACA, Nashville’s Metro Council voted to express support for its continuation.
And the vote was unanimous.
The non-partisan council, which leans to the left, on Tuesday night approved passage of a resolution that puts Nashville’s legislative body on record as opposing “any federal action that would rescind or tamper with the DACA initiative.”
The resolution, which was put forward by 10 co-sponsors, also urges Congress to create a permanent path to legal residency for DACA recipients.
This decision was announced after a protest Tuesday afternoon defending DACA. Several hundred people met at Centennial Park and marched to the offices of Senator Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander.
The demonstration was organized by the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, a group that will be directly impacted if Trump ends the DACA program that President Obama started in 2012.
Statement from Metro Nashville Public Schools regarding DACA
Former President Lyndon B. Johnson once shared, “If we succeed, it will not be because of what we have, but it will be because of what we are; not because of what we own, but, rather because of what we believe.” In light of President Trump’s announced intention to end Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Metro Nashville Public Schools wants to reassert our belief that all school-aged students should have access to an excellent education, and thus access to enhanced opportunities, without regard to their immigration status or the immigration status of their parents.
Students affected by ending DACA include high school students who are presently participating in the program and younger students (age 10-14) who will be eligible upon turning 15. Moreover, and perhaps more tragic, it exposes parents of United States citizens to deportation even though the parent arrived in this country as a child and the United States may be the only home he/she has known. In effect, their children are second generation Americans and the living embodiment of the American dream. Nevertheless, the rescission of DACA will either require these young U.S. citizens to leave the country or be separated from their parents despite their parents’ longstanding residency and contribution to our community.
The intended rescission of DACA denies our schools and communities many ambitious, intelligent, and highly-motivated students, parents, teachers and staff and will result in fear and uncertainty for many of the families and students we serve. Plainly stated, the result of the President’s announced ending to DACA is unacceptable. We call on Congress to enact the Dream Act or otherwise codify DACA with legislation immediately.
Davidson County Democratic Party Chair Gary Bynum’s Statement on DACA Repeal: “Democrats know that in diversity lies strength and that our country is built on the founding principle that our boarders are open to all those who seek opportunity and prosperity.”
“As a nation, we should be embracing all of these hard-working, young DREAMers. However, Republicans, here and across the nation, are working tirelessly to extract and deport these DREAMers from the only country they know and love. Instead of ensuring that these young men and women have the opportunity to prosper and contribute to our country, the President and his Republican allies are terrorizing them by ripping them away from their homes after years of commitment to our country and its laws.”