Day 230: Trump’s Cowardice on DACA Decision as Prominent as Ever

In June 2012, after watching Congress flail for a decade trying to protect undocumented immigrant children from deportation under a billed called the Dream Act, Barack Obama instituted a program, via executive order, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA allowed certain undocumented immigrants protection from deportation. If they entered the country as minors, they received renewable two-year periods of deferred action from deportation and were eligible for work permits. In essence, the Obama administration determined that deporting non-criminal children who had done nothing wrong was low on the priority spectrum.

Beneficiaries under DACA, also known as Dreamers, are ineligible for food stamps, welfare, Section 8 housing and Medicaid. They are not a drain on the system. In fact, the opposite. They pay sales, local, state and income taxes. They graduate with honors, serve in the military, buy cars and homes, work for some of the biggest companies in the world and represent the American dream.

Now, Donald Trump has announced he’s ending DACA in six months. Asked during the campaign what he thought about Dreamers, Trump indicated he’d leave them alone and they’d be just fine. But now, it appears he’s changed his mind and they won’t be just fine.

Donald Trump has tried to flex his muscles on immigration. He’s claimed he has total authority under the Constitution to demand a border wall, since that deals with immigration. He’s professed the powers to institute a travel ban/Muslim ban, again claiming his broad immigration powers under the Constitution allow him to do so. But now the administration is claiming that DACA is unconstitutional, despite the broad immigration and related powers granted to the president.

Hundreds of prominent business leaders, including CEOs from Facebook, Twitter, AT&T and Viacom, penned an open letter to Trump regarding his DACA decision.

In typical Trump fashion, his cowardice rang through the entire process. Not only is he picking on vulnerable, upstanding community members, he made his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, make the official announcement of the decision.

Then, Trump, a notorious buck passer, tried to blame Obama.

In an eloquent letter, Obama, in a rare display of a former president criticizing the decision-making of a current one, pushed back on Trump’s assertion his decision as a whole:

Trump’s tweet also backtracks that he may do anything at all. He’s holding a political gun to Dreamers’ heads and telling Congress to pass legislation to codify a program already in place. If Congress doesn’t, Trump has threatened to simultaneously pull the trigger and give Congress an additional warning. The only thing he’s making clear is that he doesn’t want to deal with the political fallout: he either wants the credit of signing a bill into law, or the ability to blame Congress for failing to put one on his desk.

From a purely financial perspective, tearing up DACA will cost the U.S. nearly a half trillion dollars worth of growth domestic product over the next decade, in addition to spending hundreds of billions of dollars deporting individuals to countries they don’t remember. From a humanitarian perspective, engaging in political stunts with the lives of nearly a million scared Americans in every single way but on paper, to borrow one of Obama’s lines, is shameful and cowardly.

230 days in, 1232 to go

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TrumpTimer watches, tracks and reports about Donald Trump and his administration’s policies every day. TrumpTimer is also counting down until January 20, 2021.