CONTACT: Shaundra Scott, Executive Director, sscott@aclusc.org843-720-1423
July 6, 2017

ACLU of South Carolina's Statement on Attorney General Alan Wilson's Efforts to Overturn DACA

The 2012 Executive Order allowed hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to pursue work, education and to positively contribute to the community.

CHARLESTON, SC –  State officials from Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia sent a letter on June 29 to Attorney General Sessions urging the Trump administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The letter says that if Trump phases out DACA, the states would dismiss the current lawsuit against the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, which was filed during the Obama administration. The states said that if the administration does not end DACA, the lawsuit will be amended to include both programs.

In response to this letter, Executive Director of the ACLU of South Carolina, Shaundra Scott had the following statement:

“Attorney General Alan Wilson has aligned himself with the most extreme and vindictive public officials in the country by demanding that young people surrender their ability to reside legally in this country. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people across the country, allowing them to work, pursue an education, and contribute to our communities. We stand with those young people, who are doing their best to pursue their dreams. 

South Carolina’s desire to end the program for the 6,700 DACA beneficiaries in this State is a clear attack against the immigrant community and our shared values of hard work, family and opportunity.  The ACLU of South Carolina is grounded in the fight to defend and advance the rights of immigrants of all walks of life, including through the DACA program, which serves as a reminder that this country still believes in all of our potential and welcomes our contributions.

If the 2012 Executive Order is overturned, students in South Carolina who are DACA recipients would be forced to withdraw from public universities and colleges because of a 2008 state law prohibiting undocumented immigrants from benefiting from the public higher education system.  For these students, this would undermine the principals of DACA; principals which Attorney General Wilson and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham support.

We should continue to work across the political spectrum to fix our broken immigration system. This is what real leaders do. Attorney General Alan Wilson’s misguided and politically motivated use of his office to target our states’ young people only brings the national political division in this country to South Carolina.”

In order to be eligible for DACA, a person needs to be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012; enter the United States prior to their 16th birthday; be currently in the United States; be in school, have graduated, or completed a general education program; and pass a background check. 17 states have statewide policies permitting DACA recipients pay in-state tuition at all state institutions of higher education. All states now allow DACA recipients to obtain driver’s licenses. 

The statement from ACLU Nationwide can be found here: