SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – California Sen. Kamala Harris has pledged to keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program alive, even though President Donald Trump threatens to get rid of the program.
During an appearance in San Jose Tuesday night, Harris said she will fight to keep it “tooth and nail.”
“Those young people who have only known one home, the United States, and were promised that they would receive deferral from deportation if they gave us information about themselves and live a productive life,” Harris said. “We talked about the need to make sure America keeps its promise to those young people.”
The program, in place since 2012, protects young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children from deportation.
California has an estimated 220,000 DACA recipients, the most of any state. If the program were scrapped, they would lose their work permits and live with the threat of being forced out of the country.
Attorneys general of several Republican-led states have threatened legal action against Trump if he doesn’t end the program by September 5th.
Critics have said DACA wrongfully rewards people who are in the country illegally.
If Trump does end the program, he could abruptly stop DACA or phase it out over time.
On Wednesday, Harris is holding a town hall meeting at 3 p.m. at the Beebe Memorial Cathedral in Oakland. Doors open at 2 p.m.