Open Letter to Attorney General Rutledge urging defense of DACA

I hope you will co-sign this open letter to Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, urging her to reverse her position on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This letter, along with your co-signatures and names, will be delivered to the attorney general on September 5.



The Honorable Leslie Rutledge, 

I respectfully write you to urge a reversal on your announced position concerning litigation on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Since President Obama signed DACA in 2012, we have made substantial progress towards extending the American ideals of opportunity and fairness not only to the privileged, but also to the most vulnerable in our nation. 

My grandfather immigrated to this country as a child from Sicily nearly a hundred years ago. I am glad he was not denied entry to or expelled from our country, or I would not be here today. Immigrants come to our country to find a better life for themselves and their families, and by doing so make contributions that benefit our entire society.

For those that receive it, DACA has provided a bridge to the hope and opportunity that is the promise of our nation. Since its implementation, recipients have seen their wages increase by 42 percent, which ensures their ability to purchase homes and cars, provide for their families, and pay taxes. This purchasing power, as nearly all economists would note, stimulates our economy and contributes to its continued growth. Moreover, nearly 95 percent of DACA recipients are either employed or attending school.

President Trump has repeatedly expressed support for these nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants, most of whom are children and have only ever known the United States as home, and referred to them as “incredible kids.”

As you consider litigation, I hope you take time to meet with some of the over 10,000 committed and talented young people that represent the best of our state and our communities. They are working to become our next generation of physicians, teachers, soldiers, and community leaders. Above all, they are all children of God whose inherent dignity demands your respect. To rescind the protections afforded to them under DACA would be a grave error.

Unfortunately, today’s tumultuous political climate is charged with emotion and poisoned discourse. This causes rampant polarization on issues that could be simply resolved with common sense and a love of our fellow man. In such times as this, we should pause and pray that we be touched by, as Abraham Lincoln said, “the better angels of our nature.”

I would respectfully ask that you as Arkansas’s Attorney General, uphold the DACA program and thereby honor our country’s tradition of welcoming and offering opportunity to immigrants and their families.



Paul Spencer

Congressional Candidate, Arkansas Second District


100 co-signs

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