Connecticut’s congressional delegation has urged the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to continue offering legal support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program in court while accepting new applications for protection under the Obama-era policy.
In a letter sent on July 28 to DHS Secretary John F. Kelly, the senators and representatives, all Democrats, expressed their concern over a threat by 10 state attorneys general and Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter to sue the federal government unless the DACA program is phased out by Sept. 5. The legislators said 10,000 Connecticut residents are protected from deportation under DACA, which applies to more than 780,000 illegal immigrant youth nationwide, and said they offered economic and intellectual benefits to the state.
“The DACA recipients from Connecticut, who we have had the pleasure of getting to know, are graduating from high schools, working to support themselves as they earn degrees from colleges and universities in the state, and gaining professional work experience in diverse fields, such as engineering, nursing, medicine, teaching, software development, law enforcement and business management,” the legislators wrote. “We have witnessed how much DACA visa holders contribute to Connecticut’s vibrancy, strength and economy. They are part of what makes this state great.”
Kelly did not have a chance to respond to the letter in his capacity as DHS secretary, as President Trump appointed him the new White House chief of staff a few hours after the legislators’ letter was made public.