News Release

Nation's Criminal Defense Bar Strongly Urges American Congressional Leadership to Save "Dreamers"

Washington, DC (Sept. 6, 2017) – Yesterday, the Trump administration rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, effective in six months. To date, the program has provided legal protection to some 800,000 undocumented individuals brought to the United States as children.

Rick Jones, President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), issued the following statement:

"A fundamental principle of a just society is that reliance upon the law and a governmental promise should never result in a deprivation of rights. Hundreds of thousands of students and workers living in this country, who were brought here as children, often many years ago, voluntarily came out of the shadows in reliance upon a promise that they would not be penalized, much less deported. Instead, with precisely the identifying information provided by these young people in reliance upon that promise, the federal government is now threatening deportation.

"We know, law enforcement knows, and the courts know, that the threat of deportation is counterproductive and drives people back into the shadows. Such betrayal undermines public safety, breeds distrust, and lessens respect for an already delegitimized system of justice.

"As a result of this heartless action by the president, we have profound humanitarian concern for the legal status of so many deserving young people and their families. If DACA is terminated, we can expect that disparate law enforcement practices, including racial profiling and over-policing of historically oppressed communities, will subject even more individuals, who contribute much to society, to stops, searches, seizures, and detention. It is unacceptable in the United States of America that so many who have lived so long in fear are being placed back in jeopardy. NACDL calls on Congress to act swiftly to protect the Dreamers."

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Ivan J. Dominguez, NACDL Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7662 or 

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.