Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel denounced the Trump administration's decision to end an Obama-era program that has shielded thousands of young people from deportation Tuesday, calling it a "betrayal of more than 800,000 children."
"President Trump’s decision to end DACA is not only harmful to these young people, it strikes a blow against our core American values and is an affront to basic human decency," Emanuel said in a statement. "It is a betrayal of more than 800,000 children who have done nothing wrong and of the unique role the United States has played in the world for centuries. The United States is a nation of immigrants, not a country that tears families apart or deports children who have placed their faith in the promise of America. I know countless dreamers in Chicago who are talented, hard-working and dedicated to their families and the only home they have ever known."
Emanuel noted that he has hosted dreamers at his home for dinner in the past, and "you can see in their eyes and hear in their voices how much it means to them to be a part of the fabric of America."
Immigrants and activists around the country took to the street Tuesday for a second day of protests in reaction to the Trump administration's decision.
The government will stop processing new applications under President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which has provided nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the U.S.
But the administration is giving Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix before the government stops renewing permits for people already covered by the program. Some Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, were already saying Tuesday that it was time to figure out a permanent solution that accomodates people brought to the country as children.
In Chicago, Emanuel said the city will continue to welcome dreamers and "will pursue every legal option to protect our children, defend our immigrant communities and uphold the enduring promise of the American Dream.”