We stand with DREAMers and all immigrant survivors

Our statement on the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

On behalf of all of us at Sanctuary for Families, I am writing to express my profound disappointment at the Trump administration’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

Since its implementation in 2012, DACA has provided close to 800,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. as children with work authorization and temporary protection from deportation. The Trump administration’s decision to terminate the program in six months’ time and gamble the futures of these talented and ambitious young people is cruel, senseless, and strikes at the core of our values as an agency.

Over the last five years, Sanctuary’s Immigration Intervention Project (IIP) has assisted 127 clients with DACA status. 60 of these clients have received more permanent forms of immigration relief, but 67 remain in limbo. Our clients are both the children of gender violence survivors and young survivors themselves. Their families fled to the U.S. to escape pervasive poverty and gender-based violence. All are true survivors, showing great courage and resilience in the face of abuse, systemic discrimination, and injustice.

Watch our Q&A with IIP Deputy Director Carmen Maria Rey to learn more about what revoking DACA would mean for our clients >

Today, Sanctuary for Families reaffirms its commitment to immigrant survivors and families. In anticipation of DACA’s expiration this March, our immigration attorneys will be working double-time, prioritizing the cases of those dependent on DACA and looking for alternative forms of relief. Our agency will be working with community organizations and city and state officials to protect undocumented survivors and families in New York, but we know that will not be enough.

You can help. I hope that you will join me in contacting your representatives on both national and state levels and encouraging them to protect these vulnerable young people.

In solidarity,

Hon. Judy H. Kluger
Executive Director, Sanctuary for Families

The Supreme Court ruling is a blow for immigrant victims of gender violence

This is a heartbreaking decision for over 5 million undocumented immigrant.

This is a heartbreaking decision for over 5 million undocumented immigrants, including many of our own clients here at Sanctuary for Families.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced a 4-4 ruling in U.S. v. Texas, the case deciding whether President Obama’s 2014 executive action immigration relief programs can go into effect.

This decision holds deep repercussions for many of Sanctuary for Families’ clients, for survivors of gender violence seeking safety and freedom in the US, and for immigrants and their families throughout our country.

As a result of the tie, the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA+) programs will not be implemented. These programs were a lifeline for many of the clients we serve every day.

This is a heartbreaking decision, especially for the roughly 5 million undocumented immigrants who were eligible for these programs. It is equally heartbreaking for their family members, including their U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident children, who are directly impacted by their parents’ ability to work legally and live without fear of deportation.

But mostly, this is a very sad day for all immigrant parents who have been in this country for years raising the next generation of US citizens.

Every single day, we meet them in our offices and see first-hand how their lack of work authorization and lawful status affect their families’ emotional and economic health, having a lasting impact on their families, their communities, and our country as a whole.

Despite today’s disappointing decision, we will continue fighting for the rights of all non-citizen survivors of domestic violence, gender based violence, and trafficking, as well as for the rights of all immigrants.

Today’s result brings with it many opportunities to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform that will benefit our clients, their families, and our shared communities. One of these opportunities, which we encourage you to attend, is a rally organized by the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) on Tuesday, June 28th at 6pm at Foley Square.

In the coming days and weeks, we expect more mobilizations and advocacy efforts, both here in New York City, as well as nationally, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and check back here to stay tuned.

Michael Shannon is an attorney and Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow with Sanctuary’s Immigration Intervention Project.