Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, has stated he may resign from Donald Trump’s Diversity Council if the president repeals the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals. Trump is expected to announce the repeal on Tuesday, September 5.
DACA is an immigration policy instituted by the Obama administration in 2012 that protects illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. before they were 16 from deportation. If their applications are approved, the policy grants immigrants a two-year renewable deportation deferral, allowing them to remain in the U.S. without fear of reprisal. As of March 2017, nearly 800,000 people had been approved since the program’s inception.
In June 2017, a group of 10 state attorneys general wrote an open letter to the Trump administration arguing for the repeal of DACA, threatening to sue the federal government if the president did not end DACA by September 5, 2017.
The same group of attorneys general, led by Texas A.G. Ken Paxton (R), successfully sued the government in 2014, blocking an Obama-era planned expansion of DACA that would have lengthened deferrals from two to three years. The win was later upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in a split decision.
Trump’s consideration of the repeal, which is in tandem with the hard-line stance on immigration he took during his 2016 campaign, has elicited a wide range of disapproval, including a response letter from 20 different state attorneys general imploring Trump to keep DACA intact.
Speculation that Palomarez might exit the council also arose in mid August after he criticized the president’s response to the violent alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and called for the resignation of Trump’s then-chief strategist Steve Bannon.
“The blame here ultimately resides with President Trump, but so too should the president’s chief strategist take responsibility for offering an attentive ear to racism and bigotry and his history of proudly cultivating the so-called ‘alt right’”, said Palomarez.
In response to the speculation that he might join other members of the Diversity Council that have resigned over the administration’s policies, Palomarez told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”: “If I walk away, if I give up in frustration, the only people who win are the Steve Bannons and Steve Millers of this world … They would love to have one less Hispanic with free access to the White House, to the president, to Ivanka Trump and several of the secretaries.”
Bannon was fired from his position as White House chief strategist mere days after Palomarez’ remarks.
Faced mounting public pressure from consumers, many of Trump’s appointees to various advisory councils have tendered their resignations in response to the administration’s controversies. Following Trump’s failure to condemn the alt-right after Charlottesville, the following people announced their exits:
- Kenneth Frazier, Chairman and CEO of Merck Pharmaceuticals
- Kevin Plank, CEO of Under Armour
- Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel
- Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing
- Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO
- Thea Lee, deputy chief of staff for the AFL-CIO
- Inge Thulin, CEO of 3M
- Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup
- Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric
- Alex Gorsky, CEO of Johnson & Johnson
- Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase
- Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock
Prior to Charlottesville, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla; Robert Iger, CEO of Disney; and Travis Kalanick, former CEO of Uber; also resigned from advisory panels following disagreements with the administration’s policies and conduct.