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Friday, February 2, 2018

The Three Things to Remember When Trump Talks DACA

Posted by on Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 9:11 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here.

Yesterday, both in a speech and on Twitter, Donald Trump blamed Democrats for the lack of action. Per the NYT:
  • “President Trump turned up the pressure on Democrats on Thursday to come to an agreement with Republicans on protections for young undocumented immigrants, asserting that opposition leaders ‘talk a good game’ but cared more about politics than actually resolving the matter.”
  • “Mr. Trump moved in September to end the DACA program, which grants work permits to immigrants brought to the country illegally as children and protects them from deportation, on the grounds that President Barack Obama exceeded his authority by creating it through executive action. But Mr. Trump has expressed support for protecting those immigrants, known as Dreamers, through legislation if Congress can agree. He gave lawmakers until March 5 to take action, though his cancellation of the program is now tied up in the court system.”
  • “‘We have a great chance to make a deal or, blame the Dems!’ he wrote [on Twitter]. Mr. Trump proposed legislation last week that would create a path to citizenship for as many as 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants in exchange for building an expensive border wall, pulling back on family-based immigration and ending a visa lottery program intended to promote diversity among immigrants admitted to the United States. The president rejected a bipartisan immigration proposal put together by a group of senators last month, and the standoff over immigration helped lead to a three-day government shutdown.”
  • “Mr. Trump’s State of the Union address, in which he spoke of undocumented immigrants being gang members and killers, did not signal he was amenable to a bipartisan deal he has said he wants. Instead, appropriating a term used to describe the younger immigrants, he said, ‘Americans are dreamers, too,’ a line that angered Democrats. Mr. Trump expanded on that on Thursday at the Republican retreat, rejecting the term. ‘Some people call it Dreamers,’ he said. ‘It’s not Dreamers. Don’t fall into that trap.’”

WHAT IT MEANS: Whenever this debate heats up, it’s important to remember three undebatable things:
  • One: Trump chose to end DACA.
  • Two: A clean DACA fix would easily pass both chambers of Congress.
  • Three: The president and Republican leaders are refusing to do so because they want to use the Dreamers as leverage to get things Democrats would never otherwise go for, like cuts to legal immigration and the dumb border wall. For me, holding the fates of some seven hundred thousand young people who have only known this country hostage is hardly the moral high ground.

Related: Dreamer-teachers are preparing for the worst. [NYT]

Related: ICE is likely to deport a U.S. Army veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan and has been diagnosed with PTSD over a drug conviction. [Chicago Tribune]

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