Washington, DC — President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program leaves at least 800,000 DREAMers and immigrant youth who have grown up in the United States at risk of deportation. Without DACA, their fate and ability to remain in this country is unknown.
Planned Parenthood calls on Democrats and Republicans in Congress to act now to immediately pass legislation to protect immigrant youth and their families.
The termination of DACA and the relentless attacks against immigrants by the Trump administration are immoral and fueled by extreme ideology that is blind to all the evidence that DREAMers are working every day to strengthen their families and communities. By caving to the will of 11 extreme state officials who threatened to sue President Trump if he did not rescind DACA before September 5, President Trump continues to follow through on his harsh attacks against immigrant communities, rooted in racism and white supremacist ideology.
“No one’s health should be compromised because of their immigration status,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA will rip millions of families apart and do irreparable harm to communities that already face discrimination and barriers to accessing health care in this country. We will not silently stand by as DREAMers and DACA recipients, many of whom are part of the Planned Parenthood community and rely on Planned Parenthood for health care, are stripped of their rights and protections. We at Planned Parenthood will continue to see patients regardless of who they are or where they’re from – no matter what.”
The consequences of being undocumented can contribute to a culture of fear in immigrant communities, and keep too many from seeking the lifesaving care they need. The repeal of DACA only further heightens this fear and solidifies barriers to care.
“The pressures of hiding in plain sight and carrying the burden of an uncertain future as an undocumented person in this country stood in the way of my ability to access health care and further my education — that is, until the implementation of DACA changed my life,” said Silvia, a Planned Parenthood intern in Florida. “I was suddenly able to get a license, get a minimum wage job, and apply for college in the country I have always considered my home. Most importantly, DACA gave me a voice. Now that it has been taken away, I do not know what my future and that of so many members of my community holds.”
Planned Parenthood believes that health has no borders. In addition to our health centers in the U.S., which proudly serve immigrant communities, Planned Parenthood Global supports more than 100 partners across Africa and Latin America to advance sexual and reproductive health in their own communities. This includes many countries of origin of current and potential beneficiaries of DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans)/expanded DACA. In the U.S. and globally, Planned Parenthood is committed to helping advance the health and rights of young people, women, and families, and we will not back down from this.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood affiliates serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.