Trump Ends DACA, Shifts Responsibility for Helping 800,000 “Dreamers” to U.S. Congress
Leave it to Donald Trump to find a way to shift responsibility for the Obama era program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) onto someone else even though he made the decision to wind it down.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced an end to DACA this morning with a 6-month window for Congress to act to fix it.
Fearing huge fallout from his decision, Trump allowed Sessions to make the announcement. He attempted to distance the White House from the fallout by releasing a statement.
In a lengthy written statement, Trump said he was giving lawmakers “a window of opportunity … to finally act.”
“As I’ve said before, we will resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion — but through the lawful democratic process,” Trump said. “It is now time for Congress to act!”
Trump said any immigration bill must provide “enduring benefits for the American citizens we were elected to serve.”
“We must also have heart and compassion for unemployed, struggling, and forgotten Americans,” he said.
The president said his goal is not to make these “Dreamers” priorities for deportation after the six-month window, assuming Congress fails to come up with a law to address the problem.
“I have advised the Department of Homeland Security that DACA recipients are not enforcement priorities unless they are criminals, are involved in criminal activity, or are members of a gang.”
Reaction to Trump’s decision to end DACA was swift.
On the streets of U.S. from New York to Washington and Los Angeles, protests broke out with thousands demanding that Congress come up with a solution.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers also weighed in on the decision.
Arizona senator John McCain forcefully condemned the decision calling it “the wrong approach to immigration policy…”
“President Trump’s decision to eliminate DACA is the wrong approach to immigration policy at a time when both sides of the aisle need to come together to reform our broken immigration system and secure the border,” McCain said in a statement relaeased by his office.
“I strongly believe that children who were illegally brought into this country through no fault of their own should not be forced to return to a country they do not know. The 800,000 innocent young people granted deferred action under DACA over the last several years are pursuing degrees, starting careers, and contributing to our communities in important ways.”
“While I disagreed with President Obama’s unilateral action on this issue, I believe that rescinding DACA at this time is an unacceptable reversal of the promises and opportunities that have been conferred to these individuals,” McCain continued.
“The federal government has a responsibility to defend and secure our borders, but we must do so in a way that upholds all that is decent and exceptional about our nation. I will be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to devise and pass comprehensive immigration reform, which will include the DREAM Act,” the Arizona Senator added.
Former vice president under the Obama administration, Joe Biden wrote on Twitter that Trump’s decision was “cruel.”
“Brought by parents, these children had no choice in coming here. Now they’ll be sent to countries they’ve never known. Cruel. Not America,” Biden wrote on Twitter.
Brought by parents, these children had no choice in coming here. Now they'll be sent to countries they've never known. Cruel. Not America.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 5, 2017
California Congressman Adam Schiff said the decision will lead to the loss of “everything” by the “Dreamers.”
“President Trump’s cruel #DACA decision means one thing: hundreds of thousands of DREAMers stand to lose everything. Congress must act now.”
President Trump's cruel #DACA decision means one thing: hundreds of thousands of DREAMers stand to lose everything. Congress must act now.
— Adam Schiff (@AdamSchiffCA) September 5, 2017
Schiff called on House Speaker paul Ryan (R-WI) to allow a vote on immigration.
— Adam Schiff (@AdamSchiffCA) September 4, 2017
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi called Trump a coward for trotting out AG Sessions to announce the end of DACA.
“Trump just gave a masterclass in cowardice: he cancelled #DACA, and then trotted out Sessions because he was too scared to do it himself.”
Trump just gave a masterclass in cowardice²: he cancelled #DACA, and then trotted out Sessions because he was too scared to do it himself.
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) September 5, 2017
Former Attorney General Eric Holder called the decision “unnecessary and cruel” adding that “Dreamers” are good for America.
“Undoing #DACA unnecessary & cruel. Extremists favor this-not majority. Inconsistent with who we say we are as a nation. Dreamers-good for USA.”
Undoing #DACA unnecessary & cruel.Extremists favor this-not majority. Inconsistent with who we say we are as a nation. Dreamers-good for USA
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) September 5, 2017
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the decision “heartless.”
“Americans know how heartless ending #DACA is; ripping apart families & telling ppl who have worked hard to become Americans they must leave.”
Americans know how heartless ending #DACA is; ripping apart families & telling ppl who have worked hard to become Americans they must leave.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 5, 2017
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) released a statement condemning Trump’s decision, calling it a threat and betrayal of trust.
“Today, President Trump cruelly stripped nearly 800,000 DREAMers of their right to simply go to school and work in their own communities without fear. Many of these young people have been raised in the U.S.—the place they call home—and are now in the crosshairs of an increasingly brutal U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which has ramped up arrests of those without criminal records by 150 percent under President Trump.”
“After bracing for months of uncertainty under the Trump Administration, DACA recipients now face the very real threat of deportation. President Trump’s decision to revoke DACA represents the ultimate betrayal of trust on the part of the federal government toward our DREAMers, who volunteered some of their most sensitive personal information in order to step out of the shadows.”
“By threatening the futures of these young people, the Trump Administration is disregarding the core values that guide our country and dismissing DREAMers’ essential contributions to our social and economic fabric. President Trump’s repeal of DACA is another outrageous indication that the xenophobic, white-supremacist tendencies of his administration will not be solved simply by removing particular staffers; rather, these discriminatory impulses have always emanated from the top.”
“We call on Republican leaders in Congress to stand up to this disastrous decision by President Trump. We forcefully urge them to reinstate the DACA program in upcoming legislation to fund the government. Hundreds of thousands of young people were guaranteed protection under the DACA program by our government—Congress must now make good on this promise,” the statement from CPC concluded.
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