“The program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said today according to the New York Times.
“Before we ask what is fair to illegal immigrants, we must also ask what is fair to American families, students, taxpayers and job seekers,” President Trump said in a prepared statement on the end of DACA.
DACA, as we reported earlier today, is an Obama-era program that allows those that were brought to the United States from some other country illegally while they were children to live and work legally in America.
Sessions told reporters after the announcement that DACA had to go because it “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs.”
There are currently around 800,000 DACA beneficiaries, known as “dreamers” in the United States. The LA Times reports that 87 percent of dreamers old enough to work currently do so.
President Obama has watched his environmental legacy be dismantled by the Trump administration, has watched his racial justice legacy be dismantled and has watched his Department of Justice legacy be dismantled without much comment.
A tweet here and there, perhaps.
Today, however, he spoke out strongly against the Trump administration’s DACA decision via a statement released to Facebook.
“Immigration can be a controversial topic,” Obama began, in his signature conciliatory way, “We all want safe, secure borders and a dynamic economy, and people of goodwill can have legitimate disagreements about how to fix our immigration system so that everybody plays by the rules.”
After just one paragraph, 44 stopped holding back.
“But that’s not what the action that the White House took today is about.”
What is it about?
“Let’s be clear,” Obama wrote (who doesn’t miss those “Let’s be clears?”). “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.”
Obama didn’t just suggest that the decision to end DACA was immoral; he went on the state this in no uncertain terms.
“To target these young people is wrong — because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating — because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel. What if our kid’s science teacher, or our friendly neighbor turns out to be a dreamer? Where are we supposed to send her? To a country she doesn’t know or remember, with a language she may not even speak?”
You see those pronouns? Barack Obama, standing up for dreamers, and dismantling the patriarchy one pronoun at a time!
In challenging Sessions’ economic argument, 44 wrote, “Kicking [dreamers] out won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes or raise anybody’s wages.”
And 44 told us how he really feels, calling the decision “contrary to our spirit, and to common sense.”
For those that hope Congress can, in the six months the president has given it, fix this mess, well, Barack is with you.
“It’s up to members of Congress to protect these young people and our future. I’m heartened by those who’ve suggested that they should. And I join my voice with the majority of Americans who hope they step up and do it with a sense of moral urgency that matches the urgency these young people feel.”
The former president ended his note, as is his way, with hope.
“What makes us American is not a question of what we look like, or where our names come from, or the way we pray. What makes us American is our fidelity to a set of ideals — that all of us are created equal; that all of us deserve the chance to make of our lives what we will; that all of us share an obligation to stand up, speak out, and secure our most cherished values for the next generation. That’s how America has traveled this far. That’s how, if we keep at it, we will ultimately reach that more perfect union.”