Former President Bill Clinton has issued a statement in response to President Donald Trump's decision to end DACA, which the White House announced on Sept. 5.
Trump's controversial decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has been met with criticism by people across the political spectrum. The latest critic to join that list is Clinton.
In a Sept. 5 statement, Clinton called Trump's decision to end the immigration program "irresponsible" and "cruel," according to CNN:
DACA has brought hundreds of thousands of young people out of the shadows -- allowing them to live without fear, go to school, work, and contribute to America in countless other ways. These young people's dreams are part of the American Dream. And they make it more real for all of us. Today's decision by the White House to terminate DACA -- and that is effectively what it attempts to do -- will crush their dreams and weaken the American Dream for the rest of us.
It's wrong because it's bad policy that solves no pressing problem and raises new ones. It's wrong because it's irresponsible, passing the buck instead of offering sensible solutions for immigration reform. Most of all, it's wrong because it's cruel to send these young people to places many of them have never lived and do not know. For them this is home. The United States is their home.
Instead of punishing them, we should find ways to openly embrace them and to empower them to make their own contributions, as previous generations of immigrants have done.
Congress should act immediately to protect their status and pave the way for their future and America's future.
The DACA program is meant to protect people who came into the U.S. as children from deportation, according to a description on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's website. It was enacted on June 15, 2012, under former President Barack Obama.
To qualify for DACA, applicants must meet several guidelines pertaining to age, criminal history and education. It allows applicants to request "deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal" and "work authorization."
While talking about tax reform, Trump took questions from reporters regarding his DACA decision.
"I have a great heart for these folks we're talking about," the president said, according to pool reports obtained by Axios. "A great love for them and people think in terms of children but they're really young adults. I have a love for these people and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly. And I can tell you, speaking to members of Congress, they want to be able to do something and do it right."
"And really we have no choice, we have to be able to do something, and I think it's going to work out very well," Trump continued. "And long-term it's going to be the right solution."