President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the Obama-era immigration policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), is not as it seems. While his decision has promised an unbiased and legally necessary solution to a “failing and unlawful” policy, its advocation is justified on misleading grounds; it is covertly racist and is at odds with public opinion.
In fact, according to a poll conducted by Politico and Morning Consult, 58 percent of voters think these undocumented children –– the “dreamers” –– “should be allowed to stay and become citizens if they meet certain requirements.” Another 18 percent “think they should be allowed to stay and become legal residents.” Only 15 percent support their deportation.
Even in Washington, according to the same poll, “84 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of independents and 69 percent of Republicans think they should stay.”
In other words, people want to give these kids a chance.
Trump, however, does not. In the first lines of his presidential bid, he exclaimed, without hesitation, that “(Mexican immigrants) are not our friend, believe me … they’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
And while he did allow them some leeway in saying, “some, I assume, are good people” –– his opinion was clear in a tweet on July 10, 2014 that specifically cited Mexico as an “enemy” to the U.S.
His stance has not changed much since then.
Some praise Trump for his cruelty, saying that his marginalization of Mexicans, Muslims and other minority groups in America is necessary for the country to grow — but I posit, today, that this is not true.
The U.S. has always been a place of opportunity. It has fought for “liberty and justice for all” since its conception, and it is this very sentiment that DACA reflects.
In his long-anticipated announcement last Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said DACA “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens … (and is) an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch.”
These criticisms would make rescinding DACA a logical move if they were true, but because they are not, this decision is nothing less than xenophobic.
First, according to the New York Times, “DACA appears to have had no discernible effect on the number of total job openings or those specifically in white collar industries — where DACA recipients are more commonly employed — which have been steadily rising since mid-2009.”
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that both foreign-born and native-born unemployment rates have been unaffected by the implementation of DACA.
Second, the claim of DACA’s unconstitutionality has been grossly overstated; and the argument is full of holes.
Indeed, former President Obama’s executive order was not without precedent. Presidents have been changing immigration policy via executive action since the 1950s.
More than this, the Supreme Court, which has the final say regarding cases of constitutionality, has not reviewed DACA. No one with proper authority to make such claims has spoken on the subject.
According to NBC, the legal challenges brought against DACA in the D.C. Circuit and in the Fifth Circuit were tossed out for lack of standing.
There is no argument here.
There is no disaster to clean up. DACA has been nothing but good for its recipients.
To rescind DACA would oppose the very American dream that has allowed many Americans freedom and opportunity their whole lives. Recipients of DACA are no different. They were raised in the U.S. just as many others were.
Moreover, in the U.S., there are no “aliens” — there are only people, like you and I, who want to create a life for themselves, for their families, and to pay homage to a country that has promised “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”