Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Trump Ends DACA

The Trump administration has ended DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The statement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions is littered with questionable assumptions and falsehoods. Without irony, he says that ending DACA shows compassion, saves lives, promotes assimilation, helps poor Americans, raises wages, and combats terrorism, all of which are false. Insultingly false. Fly in the face of both common sense and empirical evidence false.

He says:

This does not mean they are bad people or that our nation disrespects or demeans them in any way.

This is also false. Trump himself famously said:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

This is red political meat for xenophobes and not much else. Hundreds of thousands of people who grew up in the United States for reasons entirely beyond their control will be punished to please xenophobes. It is heartless, cruel, and simply mean-spirited.

I've had numerous students protected under DACA, and they are universally the kind of people we want to stay, live, and work in the United States. They will make the United States a better place if we don't abuse them. Consciously destroying their lives is sick. And Trump now owns that.

Update: Trump released his own statement, which contains this whopper:

DACA made it impossible for President Trump to pursue the reforms needed to restore fairness to our immigration system and protect American workers [bold in original].

DACA doesn't make any legislative action impossible. In the statement he provides no basis for the logic.

Another Update: Here is President Obama's response. It is strongly worded and accurate:

Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us. They are that pitcher on our kid’s softball team, that first responder who helps out his community after a disaster, that cadet in ROTC who wants nothing more than to wear the uniform of the country that gave him a chance. Kicking them out won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes, or raise anybody’s wages.

Update: Paul Ryan's statement.

It is my hope that the House and Senate, with the president’s leadership, will be able to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution that includes ensuring that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country.

If you rely on presidential leadership now, you're not in particularly good shape.

Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell issued a statement.

President Obama wrongly believed he had the authority to re-write our immigration law. Today’s action by President Trump corrects that fundamental mistake. 
“This Congress will continue working on securing our border and ensuring a lawful system of immigration that works.”

That was the entirety of his statement, which does not generate much confidence in congressional action by March.


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