The Trump administration today announced the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program. The DACA program has served as a critical lifeline for nearly 800,000 young immigrants, or “Dreamers,” who came to this country as children and know the United States as their only home.

The following is a statement from Colleen Connell (Executive Director, ACLU of Illinois) reacting to the White House announcement rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

“The Trump Administration has made today a terribly cruel day for nearly 20,000 young people in Illinois.  Five years ago, the federal government made a deal with immigrant youth: pass a criminal background check and you can live, study, and work here in the United States. Young people came out of the shadows and accepted the government’s offer in good faith and worked hard to build their lives here. Now, President Trump has gone back on that word.

The Administration’s action is especially callous given the recently-announced pardon for disgraced Sheriff Joe Arpaio. It appears that the Trump White House rewards those who flout and violate basic rules and laws, while youth are punished for following the rules.  The Trump Administration’s actions are an affront to the values we hold as a state.”

The ACLU of Illinois will continue to work with our allies and committed elected officials to protect these 20,000 Illinois residents. We have not broken faith with them.”