White House announces the end of DACA … With a six-month delay so the GOP-led Congress can do the dirty work.
How do Republicans celebrate Labor Day? In the most senselessly cruel and destructive way possible. On Sunday, the White House announced the end of DACA (Deferred Action f0r Childhood Arrivals), thereby ending protections for our nation’s most vulnerable children, students, and workers.
The GOP’s president has tried to avoid this hot potato issue, but a lawsuit by Texas and nine other red states that claim DACA is unconstitutional is forcing his hand.
POLITICO reports, “Senior White House aides met Sunday afternoon to discuss how to roll out the controversial move affecting hundreds of thousands of Dreamers.” There will be a six-month delay so Congress can take action to preserve DACA. Of course, Team Trump left their boss some wiggle room by adding he hasn’t made his official announcement yet, and nothing he’s said is written in stone.
In the past, even many Republicans have said Dreamers are our future and shouldn’t be punished and left with no home or country because their parents brought them here illegally when they were too young to have any say. But since the GOP hates everything Barack Obama did on principle, even Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) — who once urged the GOP to move forward on immigration reform — wants to kick DACA down the road to Congress. In June, he told CNN, “My hope is that as part of this process we can work on a way to deal with this issue and solve it through legislation, which is the right way to do it and the constitutional way to do it.”
Back in February, Donald Trump called Dreamers “incredible kids,” declared their plight is among the “most difficult subjects I have” and promised to show “great heart” on DACA.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) February 17, 2017
Of course, we all know his promises mean nothing and neither he nor the GOP are known for their “great hearts.” On the one hand, Donald Trump knows failing to end DACA would tick off the racist supporters whose accolades he relies on to feed his voracious ego. On the other hand, ending DACA would anger nearly everyone else, including many heavy-hitting Republicans. After all, where would these kids go? They’d be forced into the shadow economy of our nation’s most abused workers, who remain anonymous, poorly-paid (and sometimes not paid at all), and without any legal rights or protections from exploitation and harm.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has called Barack Obama’s Dream Act unconstitutional. But on Friday he urged Donald Trump not to scrap DACA, adding that Congress is trying to come up with a bill to address the issue. CNN reports he took to the airwaves in his hometown of Janesville, Wisc. and declared, “I actually don’t think he should do that. I believe that this is something that Congress has to fix.”
And there’s also Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). back in July choked back tears as he and his Democratic colleague Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced a new Dream Act bill. Lindsey Graham’s speech begins at the 2:40 mark. The 11:50 mark is where he gets verklempt.
So why does Lindsey Graham care about the 800,000 young people protected by DACA when Hispanics are only 5 percent of the population in his state? Because his close friend, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), asked for his support. This stance has infuriated some voters back home, but it would be hard to vote out someone who’s served in the U.S. Senate since 2003 and in the House for nearly a decade before that.
US Sen. Lindsey Graham rolls through. DACA folks cheer as a guy in a Make America Great Again hat tells him "You'll be going home." pic.twitter.com/q5UN1rHsMU
— Avery Wilks (@AveryGWilks) September 4, 2017
Back in 2015, The Hill reported 26 House Republicans broke with their party’s leadership and voted against mass deportations and defunding DACA. Now, The Washington Post reports polls show even higher levels of support for the Dream Act. This may convince even more GOP reps to break ranks and vote in the Dreamers’ favor. The issue has grown so fraught, Tennessee’s attorney general has already announced he’s withdrawing support for the lawsuit and calling on Congress to resolve the issue.
Watch: Dreamers speak out on DACA’s uncertain future.
The fact is, the bright and hopeful young people affected by DACA are highly sympathetic and it’s hard to ignore their pleas for continued protection without seeming like an ogre.
'I don't know a life other than what I've lived here' — This is the human cost of losing DACA pic.twitter.com/pkQJhITGAH
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 4, 2017
These two Harvard and Middlebury grads from Texas are just two of the many clean-cut, wholesome, and appealing faces of DACA.
— Univision News (@UnivisionNews) September 4, 2017
ABC spoke with a middle school teacher identified only as “Ms. Luna,” who worries about many of her students and is a Dreamer herself. “I want to provide a safe space for my kids, and for them to know that their voices are important,” She told them. “We tell our kids constantly, ‘If you work hard, you can get anywhere in life,’ however, with having a status as being undocumented proves to be a challenge.” She then added, “People can take everything away from you, and I think — that’s the way that I thought about it when I was growing up. They can take everything away from you.” But, she added, “They can’t take what you have in here,” meaning her mind and her heart.
When push comes to shove, the only people who benefit from our current complex labyrinth of immigration laws and erratic enforcement are immigration lawyers and unscrupulous employers who demand a cheap, docile labor force. The United States of America was built on a slave economy. Although slavery is now illegal in the U.S., some business owners will never stop seeking the closest thing to slave labor they can get.
Featured image: Video screen grab via ABC News.