By Veronica Mackey
President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) –like most everything he does—was met with swift opposition Tuesday. Protestors immediately took to the streets across the nation. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement.
DACA was instituted by former President Barack Obama through executive order five years ago to give children of undocumented immigrants certain protections in the United States. The Dream Act is a temporary measure that passed the House, but not the Senate, under Obama. It protects youth from deportation, provides work permits, and can be renewed every 2 years.
The president has asked Congress to vote for a measure to either legalize or outlaw DACA within six months. Now 800,000 “Dreamers” are in danger of being deported.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, spoke out after it was announced that President Trump will end DACA in six months:
“I am deeply disturbed by Donald Trump’s decision to put an expiration date on the date on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). These DACA recipients came to America as children, innocent of any wrongdoing. For many, this is the only country that they know. They registered with the government; they underwent background checks; they go to school here; they live in our communities; and they pay taxes. For all 800,000 of them, the United States is their home.
“Donald Trump has demonstrated again and again, on an almost daily basis, an extreme lack of empathy and a disregard for the plight of others. In phasing out DACA, he revealed that he not only lacks empathy, but that he’s spineless too. For a man, who has so often thrown around the threat of lawsuits for the slightest perceived grievance, to now phase out DACA because he’s scared of a legal threat from the Texas Attorney General shows that Trump – the bully – will back down from a fight, even when that fight affects hundreds of thousands of people. Trump routinely deflects and abdicates his presidential responsibilities, and his DACA decision is yet another example. He is more abdicator–in-chief than commander, and America again must look elsewhere for leadership.”
Calling the DACA rescission “a cruel and self-defeating action,” Obama said in a lengthy statement, “This is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people – and who we want to be.”
Republican, Ohio Governor John Kasich told CBS News: “If you get reasonable Republicans and Democrats at the table…you can get it (DACA reform) done. Then you can move to the broader agenda, securing our borders. This is a crisis for people, now living on the edge of their seats, saying ‘What am I supposed to do now? Leave this country that I love?’”
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District vowed in a statement to remain ‘safe zones,’ meaning that immigration law enforcement agents looking to gather information or conduct enforcement actions will not be allowed on campus without a review by District officials.
The school board recently reaffirmed it would cooperate, under the fullest extent possible under the law, with immigration enforcement agents who enter school campuses.
Whether the young Dreamers are allowed stay in the U.S. will seriously impact the future of politics in America.
“Latino young adults are the fastest growing group of voters, and are flocking to the Democratic Party. The Republican Party is very nervous and know that they need to branch out or the future is in doubt,” Bob Cusack, editor of The Hill, told CBS News.