Brooklyn Democratic Assemblyman Nick Perry has applauded the latest ruling by a United States federal district court judge blocking the Trump administration’s decision to terminate a program for young, undocumented Caribbean and other immigrants.
The program, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was instituted in 2012 by former United States President Barack Obama, but Obama’s successor, Donald J. Trump, is determined to end it.
On Thursday, Jamaican-born, Perry lauded Tuesday’s ruling by Judge John D. Bates of Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, which stated that the Trump administration could not abolish DACA.
“The ruling of the District Court is very much welcomed by all Americans, who are fully aware that America was built on the dreams of immigrants,” said Perry, representative for the 58th Assembly District in Brooklyn, in an exclusive Caribbean Life interview.
“Even though the federal administration is shamefully targeting ‘Dreamers’ by attempting to dismantling the DACA, this ruling makes it clear that DACA recipients have worked hard, and they deserve every chance to soar and make this nation stronger, despite the desperate partisan and baseless threats from the White House,” added Perry, whose Brooklyn district comprises the neighborhoods of East Flatbush, Canarsie and Brownsville.
In what analysts have described as the biggest setback yet for President Trump in his bid to end DACA, the court ruled Tuesday that the program’s protections must remain and that new applications could accepted.
The ruling is stayed for 90 days in order to give the US Department of Homeland Security an opportunity to furnish sufficient reasoning for terminating the program.
“Children should not be punished because their parents brought them here in search of a better life, making sacrifices and experiencing hardships many of us couldn’t even imagine,” said Perry, who serves as the Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore of the New York State Assembly and chairman of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus.
“True patriots will never turn their backs on these youngsters,” Perry added. “Let me be clear, these are children who know no other home, and all Americans should be proud to have them here.
“We will not push them into the shadows,” he stressed. “We will fight to give them the chance to follow Lady Liberty out from those shadows.”
The Statue of Liberty in the harbor between New York and New Jersey, also known as Lady Liberty, is a symbol of freedom and the dream for new immigrants in America.
In his decision, Judge Bates said Trump’s decision to end DACA was based on “virtually unexplained” reasoning that it was “unlawful.”
He ruled that if the administration fails to provide sound reasoning, in 90 days, for annulling DACA, it “must accept and process new, as well as renewal, DACA applications.”
Judge Bates described as “arbitrary and capricious” Trump’s decision to terminate DACA, stating that the Department of Homeland Security “failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.”
Two previous federal district court judges — in Brooklyn and San Francisco, California — had ruled against the Trump administration, issuing injunctions that DACA must remain intact.
In February, the United States Senate summarily blocked Trump’s measure to end DACA, noting that DACA recipients, commonly referred to “Dreamers,” face an uncertain future.
But Caribbean American Democratic Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke blamed the DACA crisis squarely on the president.
“In September, Donald Trump created a crisis by ending DACA,” Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, told Caribbean Life. “He then called on Congress to work together to solve it.”
But Clarke, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, said Trump “continues to torpedo bipartisan deal after bipartisan deal, while offering an immigration framework that is cruel, vindictive and heartless.”
Trump had set March 5 as the day for DACA to expire.
The program protects about 690,000 Caribbean and other “Dreamers” from deportation and permits them to work, study or join the US military.