EWING, NJ - Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, Vice Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, requesting clarification on policies toward individuals granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Following reports of the deportation of Juan Manuel Montes, a 23-year old DACA recipient from California, the letter highlights contradictory statements made by senior officials on current Administration policy. Watson Coleman cites, “as the Vice Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, the complex nature of the enforcement of these policies and multiple agencies involved in enforcing immigration laws - it is crucial that the Administration speak with one voice on this matter, so the public can fully understand its position and this policy.”
Excerpts from the letter are below.
On conflicting statements from Trump Administration officials:
“You’ve indicated that “DACA status is a commitment … by the government” which has since given the reassurance to these young men and women of our commitment to them and their education.”…“Sadly, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Attorney General Jeff Sessions each refused to guarantee the public that DACA recipients were protected under current administration policy.”
On DACA and its impact on immigrant communities:
“The DACA program has been essential to ensuring that those individuals brought to the United States as children, through no fault of their own, are able to work and study just like other Americans. The DACA program has enabled its beneficiaries to come out of the shadows and be engaged participants in our communities and our country. This program has not only reached the intended beneficiaries but each day these men and women help weave the ever growing fabric of our nation.”