WASHINGTON, DC — It has been three months since the Trump administration decided to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), leaving at least 800,000 immigrant youth, also known as DREAMers, at risk of deportation. If Congress does not act now, the number of immigrant youth who will be at risk of deportation will continue to grow until eventually all 800,000 immigrant youth who had DACA will lose that status.
Recent immigration enforcement efforts have erected extreme barriers to accessing health care, imperiling the health of individuals, families, and communities. In addition to the termination of DACA, the recent case of a child being detained on her way to seeking medical care in Texas, the administration's decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for thousands of Nicaraguans and Haitians, and the uncertainty for TPS holders in El Salvador and Honduras living in the U.S. only add to the fears that immigrants are facing in this moment.
Planned Parenthood calls on Democrats and Republicans in Congress to act now to immediately pass a Clean Dream Act to protect immigrant youth and their families; the bill has bipartisan support. There is no reason to continue to delay it.
Melissa Garcia, Raiz Program Manager, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“This decision to pass a Clean Dream Act will affect the lives of thousands of immigrant youth who know no other country as their home. In the work we do through Planned Parenthood’s Raiz program, bringing health education and resources to Latinx communities, we work with many DACA recipients and undocumented communities. We’ve seen firsthand how the heightened fear of harsh immigration enforcement under this administration can stand in the way of our communities living their daily lives, let alone seeking health care.
“We will not silently stand by as immigrant youth, including DACA recipients and people with TPS, 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 need a Clean Dream Act now to ensure immigrant youth in this country are able to live a life free from discrimination and the fear of deportation, and have access to the health care they need.”
Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s leading providers and advocates 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 organizations 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.