STATEMENT: President Trump decision to rescind DACA is cruel, unwise and unjustified



Photo courtesy of Social Work Helper.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) strongly opposes President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and will work with allied organizations and Congress to continue protections for young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children.

President Trump’s decision to revoke DACA dismays us. The order is cruel, unwise and unjustified and could lead to a mass deportation of some 800,000 young people.

There is little doubt that DACA has been a successful program during its five years of existence.

DACA recipients or “Dreamers” have significantly contributed to the growth of our local state and national economies. More than 91 percent of young adult Dreamers are employed. They have also demonstrated their patriotism by joining the American military – some have even sacrificed their lives for this nation.

Abolishing DACA would end Dreamers’ pathway to citizenship and disrupt thousands of families. Many Dreamers grew up in the United States, arriving here at age six or younger. So it would be cruel to send them to countries they barely remember or where they do not know the language.

That the administration is postponing implementation of its DACA executive action for six months to give Congress time to pass bipartisan DACA legislation provides little consolation. Given the many urgent international and national priorities facing Congress, there are no guarantees that Congress will have the time to write and pass a DACA bill in the next six months. As a result, mass deportations of Dreamers are likely.

However, given that President Trump has punted DACA to Congress, the House and the Senate now have a responsibility to make passage of the Dream Act an immediate priority.

Many Democrat and Republican lawmakers opposed President Trump’s DACA executive action. NASW expects this bipartisan group will take a lead in quickly introducing and moving a bill through both houses of Congress.

Therefore, NASW will hold Congress accountable for developing an effective policy for DACA recipients that will avoid chaotic disorder in the lives of DACA recipients and their families.

NASW is also working with partner organizations to oppose President Trump’s decision to revoke DACA and is urging its members and the wider social work community to get involved in local and national activities to protect DACA.

NASW also plans to update its members about DACA-related legislation as it moves through Congress and to alert members when we need for them to take action.

Here are DACA resources for NASW members and social workers:

NASW Advocacy Website (check here for future updates)

Center for American Progress DACA Website

Center for American Progress: A New Threat to DACA could cost states billions of dollars

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

National Education Association

National Immigration Law Center (NILC)


  1. Your post: “The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) strongly opposes President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program .”

    Barack Obama lacked the constitutional and legal authority to implement. Obama admitted it – repeatedly.
    In May 2011, Obama acknowledged that he couldn’t “just bypass Congress and change the (immigration) law myself. … That’s not how a democracy works.” Yet, in 2012 Obama signed a piece of paper to implement DACA. And OBAMA did this despite the fact that the immigration laws passed by Congress do not give the president the ability to do this. Source: Heritage Foundation

    Since NASW is revising its Laws and Ethics, several questions come to my mind regarding NASW’s position. First, is NASW committed to following the laws of the country or does NASW favor the right to pick and choose which laws NASW prefers to back and revert to Thoreau’s (1849) position on “Civil Disobedience” for others ? The dialogue “Crito” in which Crito visits Socrates in jail, poses the question: What does the individual owe his society? Specifically, if living in a society means obeying the “laws of the land”, do we owe it to our fellow citizens to obey or defy laws that some people may view as unjust or cruel? This dialogue is one NASW could revisit for its members when we read NASW leadership”s position.

  2. Hello I want to share my story and hopefully help to make a difference. DACA means a lot to me not only because it gives me hope but because I can have a job, go to school and help my family. When I heard about this decision the only think I thought about was “what is my future going to be like now?”. I have work for 5 years and I’m currently working in obtaining a career in Social Work. I decided to do social work because I want to help people progress and to over come any obstacle. I’m pleased to know that an association like this is supporting us the dreamers. I want congress to know that we are not here to harm the country but we are here to make this country strive for greatness! Thank you.

  3. Nick Watson, MSW BASW Title IV-E Program Coordinator, CSUSB School of Social Work

    Erika Ramirez is an example of how important DACA is and the values of NASW and our profession. Advocacy, action and purpose. “No more fear!”

    Nick Watson, MSW
    BASW Title IV-E Program Coordinator
    CSUSB School of Social Work

    • Thanks professor Watson ! The accomplishments were also thanks to you and the social work staff at CSUSB for believing in me and giving my brother and I an opportunity to join the social work program!

  4. I am a DACA recepient who has benefited from the program. DACA not only has helped me but my whole family. DACA gave me relief for 5 years as to not living with fear of being deported. With or without DACA, no more fear! Thanks for your support and sharing my picture!

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