President Trump dealt a blow to the DACA amnesty program Tuesday, rescinding the executive order that created it, but this was not the death blow critics of the program were hoping for.
They believe Trump has basically thrown the issue of amnesty for 800,000 young illegals into the waiting laps of a sympathetic Congress.
While Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a scalding rebuke to DACA in announcing that the Trump administration will phase out the program over the next six months, Trump appears to be indicating he might sign a bill that provides the same benefits now enjoyed by DACA recipients.
Tuesday’s breathtaking turn of events sets the stage for a major debate in Congress over what to do about DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, enacted in 2012 by President Obama for youths brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents.
“They have the votes to pass it; there are enough RINO (Republican in Name Only) Republicans to pass amnesty with every benefit that all illegal immigrants want,” said William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration, also called ALIPAC. “They have enough to sell us out right now.”
The DACA program, created by Obama by executive fiat, shields more than 800,000 so-called “DREAMers” from deportation and allows them to live, work and attend educational institutions in the U.S. They can receive Social Security numbers, obtain benefits and even purchase a home.
Republicans generally applauded Tuesday’s decision while Democrats lambasted it as everything from “irresponsible” to “heartless” and “morally deficient.” Some, such as the CREDO social change network leader Murshed Zaheed and United Farm Workers Union president Arturo Rodriguez, went so far as to call Trump’s decision “white supremacist.”
Laura Barrett, executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, issued a statement calling Trump’s dumping of DACA “pure evil.”
Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, saw an opportunity to raise money.
In an email alert to Democrats, Perez wrote:
“This decision is morally repugnant. It is rooted in prejudice and goes against our most fundamental values.
“If America is a ‘shining city on a hill,’ then Donald Trump keeps trying to snuff out the light.
“As Trump tries to trample on the American Dream, Democrats will continue to fight for the immigrant families who contribute to our country every day. That’s the American way. If you’re with us, pitch in $3 or whatever you can right now.”
Microsoft vowed to fight Trump and defend “DREAMers” in court.
“If the government seeks to deport any one of them, we’ll provide and pay for their legal counsel,” the company stated.
Sessions had a different view.
He described DACA as a blemish on the record of the United States, which is a nation of laws, not one that changes the rules or applies the laws of the land selectively, according to the whims of a single ruler. Under the U.S. Constitution, only Congress has the authority to make laws while the president’s job is to enforce them.
“Societies where the rule of law is treasured are societies that tend to flourish and succeed,” Sessions said. “Societies where the rule of law is subject to political whims and personal biases tend to become societies afflicted by corruption, poverty and human suffering.”
Sessions blasted Obama for abusing executive power to grant amnesty to thousands of illegals. By creating special rights and privileges for a select group of illegals, his policy only encouraged more families to cross the southern border illegally, Sessions said, so they could apply for the same protections for their children.
Tuesday’s announcement immediately set off a series of pre-planned protest rallies around the country by activists who support illegal immigration and open borders.
At a protest in front of Trump Hotel in New York, illegals chanted: “Who’s city? Our city! Whose America? Our America!”
At protest for Dreamers headed to Trump Hotel people chant “Whose City? Our City. Whose America? Our America.” pic.twitter.com/D07OEzXwVC
— Noah Lanard (@nlanard) September 5, 2017
Some Colorado DREAMers walked out of class on Tuesday as a show of solidarity.
Those against the effort by Congress to grant amnesty to DREAMers are also mobilizing.
ALIPAC is on the front lines of lobbying against any bill sent to the president’s desk that would protect illegals from deportation.
One bill has already been introduced that would do just that.
Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., claims he has the votes to pass the Bridge Act, also known as H.R. 496, and is trying to file a discharge petition to force it to a floor vote in the House this week.
“This would be a travesty without the American public having time to understand or react to the legislation,” Gheen said.
“The Bridge Act would provide amnesty, ID and jobs to illegal aliens who don’t want to return to their home nations with their illegal immigrant parents as current U.S. laws require once the Trump administration ends the Obama-era unconstitutional executive orders known as DACA,” Gheen said.
“I’m very disappointed that Trump decided to do this in a way that throws America into a legislative amnesty battle,” he said.
Gheen said he would have preferred that Trump not only sign an order ending DACA but also make a clear statement saying he would not sign any amnesty bill that may be passed by Congress.
“This is what he promised us on August 31, 2016, that there would be no discussion of what to do with illegals for many years. So he broke his promise and is still breaking his promise at this moment,” Gheen told WND.
“He is breaking a further promise by sending this to Congress and asking them to legislate the amnesty. Trump would have never won the presidency with this kind of talk during the campaign. But it was at least great vindication to hear Attorney General Jeff Sessions repeat the concerns that ALIPAC has been voicing about DACA since 2012.”
Politico, a left-leaning news site, released a poll Tuesday that indicates 76 percent of Americans support letting illegal DACA youths to stay in the country.
Gheen doesn’t buy it.
“The American public wants President Trump to honor his campaign promises made in his 2016 Phoenix, Arizona, immigration policy speech to end DACA immediately and begin enforcing existing U.S. laws that require the repatriation of most illegals,” he said.
“We do not want Congress to try to pass Bridge Act, Dream Act or comprehensive amnesty to give illegal aliens special status and immunity from our laws,” he continued. “As U.S. citizens we insist the results of our elections and congressional votes of legislation be honored and our existing immigration and border laws be fully enforced without exception.”
Gheen sees the Bridge Act is another example of Washington, D.C., representing the interests of illegal aliens and those who employ them over the interests of U.S. citizens, the “forgotten men and women,” as Trump called them in his inauguration speech, who want illegals to go home and stop competing for jobs that could be filled by Americans.
If the Trump administration leaves DACA in place for six months, Gheen said Trump will be breaking another campaign promise that amnesty legislation debates would be avoided and “in several years when we have accomplished all of our enforcement and deportation goals … only then will we be in a position to consider the appropriate disposition of those individuals who remain.”
There’s no such thing as a ‘deserving Dreamer’ by Michelle Malkin
Ending DACA restores the rule of law by Andy Schlafly
A ‘domino effect’ for further amnesty action
He said continuing DACA for six months in hopes of making DACA permanent through legislation will most likely create a “domino effect for mass amnesty and permanent open borders.”
“They will use it to promote the next phase of amnesty,” he added. “The backers of full amnesty for illegal immigrants have stated that is the goal of the DACA Dream Act amnesty, to use it as a wedge for more amnesty.”
Here is what others are saying, on the right and left, about Tuesday’s move by President Trump’s administration.
Manufacturers want DREAMers to stay
National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons issued a statement saying previous congresses and administrations have missed many opportunities to fix the nation’s immigration problems.
“And that is exactly why DACA exists in the first place,” he said.
“DACA, however, is not the problem – far from it. DACA was designed to protect the most vulnerable of the immigrant community and those who are best positioned to contribute to America’s success in the future,” said Timmons.
The average age of DACA recipients is 24.
Timmons said communities and the economy are made stronger by the “bold ideas and amazing talents that people looking for a better life bring to America” and throughout history, immigration has strengthened and advanced the core principles that make America exceptional: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
“Manufacturers call on Congress to step up to provide real reform – reform that is dignified and addresses all areas of concerns, including border security, a pathway to legal status and an improved legal immigration system that works,” he said.
Trump called ‘white supremacist’ by women’s group
Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet, a national women’s organization, said Trump’s action is just the latest proof that he is a “white supremacist,” and anyone who supports Trump’s decision Tuesday is likewise a white supremacist.
“President Trump’s decision to eliminate legal status for the more than 800,000 brave young immigrants who call America home is immoral and wrong. Whether it’s by launching a wholesale attack on America’s immigrant communities, pardoning racist criminal sheriff Joe Arpaio, or defending white supremacist violence in Charlottesville – Trump has made it clear that he stands with the white supremacists inside and outside of his administration.
“This decision is a betrayal of American values. And it places additional hardships on immigrant women. Without legal status, young women will become vulnerable not just to deportation but to sexual, domestic, and employer abuse.
“It is time for Republicans to choose which side of history will they stand on. Are they going to protect the nearly 800,000 young people who want a life of dignity and respect or will they stand with Trump and the white supremacists pushing to kick hundreds of thousands of young people out from the only home they’ve ever known?”
Farm workers union blasts Trump as ‘immoral’
United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez issued a statement condemning Trump’s decision to rescind DACA, saying it was “appalling” and “counterproductive,” and “leaving 800,000 lives in limbo.”
“Donald Trump is scapegoating immigrants who were already vetted by the federal government and who are not a threat to our country. Trump taking DACA away from Dreamers so that he can try to deport them is heartless and immoral.”
He said many DREAMers are “farm workers who feed this nation or their sons and daughters. They are also doctors, lawyers, researchers, students – all of them supporting America. This is the only home most of them have known.
“Although this decision is a hard blow to the beliefs and values we share as a country, we will continue standing up for and protecting immigrant families. This fight is far from over. As Cesar Chavez said, ‘We only lose when we stop fighting.'”
Rodriguez encouraged all illegals and their supporters to attend one of the UFW Foundation’s information sessions that will take place across California, Arizona, Oregon and Washington state. La Union Del Pueblo Entero, or LUPE, a sister organization within the farm worker movement, is sponsoring similar events in Texas. All events are listed on sisepuede.org.
Rodriguez promised to organize and mobilize immigrants against Trump and any GOP lawmaker who votes against amnesty.
“The UFW Foundation will continue helping families become citizens, register voters and invite everyone regardless of immigration status to participate in civic affairs,” he said.
“We will continue organizing and growing this movement.
“We also urge all elected officials and the community at large to rally behind the Dream Act, which provides a pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth, and the ‘Blue Card’ bill (Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017), which creates a pathway to citizenship for millions of farm worker families in this country.”
Lesbians accuse Trump of turning their lives ‘upside-down’
National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell issued a statement that said “this administration just turned the lives of tens of thousands of our community members upside down.”
She claimed that 75,000, or 11 percent of the 800,000 DACA Dreamers, are LGBT, not citing any source for that figure.
“Today, the Trump administration needlessly took aim at the estimated 800,000 young people, including over 75,000 LGBT people, who came to the United States as children, work, pay taxes, and are protected from deportation under DACA. In doing so, the Trump administration rescinded not only this program but our country’s promise to protect these young people,” she said.
Here are more statements of reaction:
- Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director of MomsRising, an online community claiming 1 million mothers, called Trump’s decision to end DACA “short-sighted, cruel and harmful to our nation.”
- Hans van de Weerd, vice president of United States Programs at the International Rescue Committee, an agency that gets paid by the U.S. State Department to resettle refugees into American cities and towns, also condemned the move by Trump Tuesday as “inhumane.”
“The devastating decision to discontinue DACA – without the certainty of an alternative to replace it – threatens to uproot the lives of talented young people, putting them at risk of deportation from the only country they call home, and unnecessarily tears families apart. To take away the promised protection of DACA without an alternative, from those who courageously came out of the shadows to apply to the program, bolster our economy and enrich our communities, is simply inhumane.”
- The National Iranian American Council also condemned Trump’s action, “in the strongest possible terms.”
“Today will be judged as one of the most reprehensible days in American history,” said Shayan Modarres, legal counsel for the Iranian American Council. “President Trump’s issuance of executive orders to ban Muslims from the United States, and removal of protections for DREAMers – that know no other home but America and are now confronted with dehumanizing uncertainty – is not draining the swamp, it is dumping the greatness of America down the drain.
“As a community of recent immigrants, Iranian Americans are very familiar with confronting anti-immigrant sentiments and policies,” said Modarres. “In fact, we are still fighting against the Muslim ban and its multiple components like ‘extreme vetting.'”
The group said DREAMers include Iranians like Mohammad Abdollahi, an illegal immigrant who was denied entrance into college despite qualifying credentials.
“Iranian Americans across the United States not only stand with DREAMers in unwavering solidarity, we quite literally are DREAMers,” said Modarres. “We will not allow the Trump administration to take us backwards as a nation – we will not allow him to destroy centuries of steady American progress in a matter of months.”
- Laura Barrett, executive director at Interfaith Worker Justice, also issued a statement on Trump’s dumping of DACA.
“DACA is a signature initiative by the Obama Administration that gave hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth the opportunity to work legally, become homeowners, attend college, and more without fear of detention and deportation.
“With the repeal of DACA, the lives and livelihood of 800,000 young people and their families are suddenly in jeopardy. There is no moral, legal, or economic argument that justifies the decision to end DACA.
“But as we’ve seen with the pardoning of proudly-murderous Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the decision to leave open border checkpoints even as Texans were told to evacuate the path of Hurricane Harvey, there is no bottom to how low Donald Trump will sink to appease and appeal to the most bigoted corners of his base.
“These tactics surpass cynicism. They are pure evil.”
- Interfaith Worker Justice said it is fully committed to doing whatever it takes to win protection for all undocumented immigrants. “Whether pushing for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in Congress, defending DACA from the attacks of this Administration, or providing sanctuary for targeted individuals — we will not sit back and allow this attack on undocumented people go unchallenged.”
- CREDO Political Director Murshed Zaheed said Trump “shattered the dreams of more than 800,000 immigrants” and also invoked the “white supremacist” meme.
“The Trump regime’s relentless attacks on immigrants are part of a white supremacist agenda that right-wing Republicans have been championing for years,” he said. “Dreamers embody the spirit of the United States in a way that small-minded people like Trump will never understand.”
“Trump’s racist response to Charlottesville, his pardon of serial immigrant abuser Joe Arpaio and his heartless decision to end the DACA program are all blatant attempts to score political points with his white supremacist base,” Zaheed said. “Now he has put Dreamers’ fate in Congress’ hands. It is time for all Democrats and Republicans with a conscience to decide what side of history they want to be on. Will they continue to stand by while the Nazi sympathizer in the White House attacks immigrants, or will they pass legislation to reinstate DACA and refuse to let right-wing extremists use Dreamers as a bargaining chip to expand immigration enforcement, build Trump’s wall or shut down our borders?”
- The U.S. Conference of Mayors sent an open letter to Congress Tuesday in response to Trump’s announcement, urging quick, bipartisan action on Dreamer legislation, allowing them to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually U.S. citizenship if they meet certain criteria.
“America’s mayors stand ready to do whatever they can to assist Congress in seeing such legislation enacted into law,” the mayors said.
U.S. Conference of Mayors President and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, said: “This is not only deeply flawed public policy, but a morally deficient decision that instills fear, tears apart our communities, and is contrary to the fabric of what makes this country great. These are young people in our public schools, in our colleges, embedded in our work force, and living in our neighborhoods. By no choice of their own, they came to this great nation and know of no other home. While they may not have had the blessing to be born in the United State of America, they are as much a part of this great country as my own children and it’s a shame that the president and his policy making don’t recognize that.”