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Trump Ends DACA Without Compassion or Regret

When the Attorney General appeared at the podium today at a little after 11:00 AM he said, “Good morning. I am here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama Administration is being rescinded.” That was how he let young immigrants around the country know that they were being abandoned.

Jeff Sessions had no compassion for the 800,000 young DREAMers whom he informed at that moment that the DACA program that protected them from deportation and provided them with work permits would is terminated. Although the Attorney General said that there would be a winding-down period before the program actually ends, this period was couched as allowing the Department of Homeland Security time to “conduct an orderly change” and to allow Congress to act “should it choose,” in the words of the Attorney General.

While there were reports of Donald Trump “agonizing” over the DACA decision, in a Tweet this morning to his Twitter followers on “The Trump Train” he wrote “Make no mistake, we are going to put the interest of AMERICAN CITIZENS FIRST!” Trump’s nativism this morning put to bed any claims that he has any ordinary human feelings for immigrants brought to the United States as children.

In his brief speech, Sessions told DREAMers that “The compassionate thing is to end the lawlessness, [and] enforce our laws,” not, apparently, continue the lifesaving program that has brought them out of the shadows. He repeatedly stigmatized those with DACA, referring to them as “this group of illegal aliens.” He blamed DACA for “a surge of unaccompanied minors on the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences,” even though no independent scholarship supports this claim. He also blamed the DREAMers for unemployment, saying that DACA “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens.”

At almost the same time that Sessions was speaking, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said that, “As a result of recent litigation, we were faced with two options: wind the program down in an orderly fashion that protects beneficiaries in the near-term while working with Congress to pass legislation; or allow the judiciary to potentially shut the program down completely and immediately. We chose the least disruptive option.” Of course, this was quite different from what Sessions gave as the reason for ending DACA. If Trump was hiding behind Sessions, Duke was hiding behind the nine state attorneys general threatening to sue to end DACA. What she did not say is that if these attorneys general got pushback from Trump that they were unlikely to even file a lawsuit.

Please call the US Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask your Congressional Representative and Senators to support the BRIDGE Act which would give DREAMers a pathway to citizenship. 

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