SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi on Monday issued the following statement on the Trump Administration’s efforts to end the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:
“The elimination of the DACA program will potentially affect thousands of young and productive San Franciscans who were brought to this country as children. Ending DACA means risking deportation and restricting access to higher education for more than 800,000 DREAMers across the country.
“We must act immediately to provide both legal and community assistance to those who are most at risk of losing their legal status to remain in our country, including DACA beneficiaries.”
San Francisco is among three jurisdictions in the U.S. with a specialized public defender team fighting deportation on behalf of local residents locked in immigration detention. The San Francisco Public Defender’s Immigration Unit was formed in response to escalating immigration enforcement priorities across the country.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement on Tuesday, “As a country and as a government, we asked young people to step out of the shadows and participate in the DACA program. Now, this administration wants to attack them for their courageous action.
“This is an entire generation of young people — approximately 800,000 people — who have only known America as their home. They are hard-working individuals and diligent students who only aspire to achieve their dreams of educational excellence and economic prosperity. Their families fled to America from war-torn countries and dire economic straits because they saw this country as a place of refuge and hope. To punish them for seeking a better life is unconscionably cruel.
“This country needs to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Until we do that, political decisions like these will continue to divide our communities and tear families apart.
“San Francisco will always remain a sanctuary city — a beacon of hope and a place where we embrace all our residents, regardless of their immigration status. We will continue to protect, respect and stand together with our immigrant families.”
Other California officials denouncing the elimination of DACA and expressing support for DREAMers included Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County Supervisors Hilda Solis and Janice Hahn, University of California President Janet Napolitano, California State University Chancellor Timothy White, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Michelle King, LAUSD Board President Ref Rodriguez, California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley,