The nation’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has announced the end of DACA, the only protection Dreamer youth had against deportation.
The old Southern bigot appeared comfortable in the role of putting at risk the lives of 800,000 young people who know life only as you and I do — as Americans. He leaves in tears high-achieving students and dedicated workers across the nation and the people who fought for them stunned and angry. And Sessions has the nerve to preamble his announcement with this:
“Our nation is comprised of good and decent people …”
No longer so, sir.
“Good and decent people” don’t destroy young lives. Intolerant, prejudiced and narrow-minded ones do when they pander to the lowest feelings of a sector of this country that scapegoats immigrants for every problem in America.
This act of revoking a dream is what hate-in-charge of a nation looks like.
This act of crushing a vulnerable and productive population is what cowardice looks like.
This disregard for human beings is what cruelty looks like.
None of it is about upholding laws. You can’t claim that high ground after the same president who now hurts our children easily pardoned a sheriff who blatantly broke laws, abused his power — and flaunted it.
May the infamy of ending DACA and leaving young Americans open to the spectacle of deportation mark the dawn of a country who shouts back — enough! — and votes likewise.
We must stand with Dreamers and the people who are working to reform our immigration system in a way that is fair and speaks to who we are as a nation. You’ll be in the company of clergy, top CEOs, and lawmakers who, unlike Trump, do have heart.
We must demand that Congress pass legislation to give these young people who’ve lived most of their lives in this country — and are American in every way but legal status — a path to residency and citizenship.
Reject the excuses of GOP lawmakers who, seeking political gain, betrayed immigration reform before. Do not forgive the Republican Party for this new betrayal.
This low-point moment is their creation.
They blocked the bipartisan Dream Act. They blocked bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform. They talked the same ugly talk as Trump, only couched in more acceptable language. Then, they gave us the inept and class-less President Trump when they crowned a clown with the GOP nomination.
And, to the president of the United States, call him what he is: Liar.
He lied to the Hispanic community. He lied to persuade moderate Republicans and swing voters in states like Florida to vote for him, never saying, “I will end DACA.” Every time Trump was asked about the fate of the Dreamers, he gave either evasive answers of assurances that he wouldn’t do them harm, wouldn’t persecute them.
But what is ending the only protection the Dreamers have had the last five years, the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program that allowed them to come out of the shadows if not an outright persecution and betrayal?
The White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and ICE all confirmed Tuesday that the information collected from DACA recipients will be used to find and deport them. What a disgrace. A pledge was made that this wouldn’t happen if they left their anonymous lives, enrolled, and lived in the open.
Dreamers trusted the American government. To use that database against them is stooping to yet another lowest of lows.
“To target hopeful young strivers who grew up here is wrong, because they’ve done nothing wrong,” former President Barack Obama said in a statement, referring to the fact that they were brought here by their parents as children.
“These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper,” Obama said.
To the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump, I say, wake up. You voted for this hatred, cruelty, and injustice.
No, hell, no. We can no longer claim that this nation, under Trump, is comprised of good and decent people.