The hope that the undocumented DREAMers — thousands of whom call South Florida home — would be spared the Trump administration’s round-up of illegal immigrants is fading.
The White House on Wednesday said that President Donald Trump will not support a new bipartisan plan to protect young undocumented immigrants from being placed back in line for deportation.
The White House official told the McClatchy news bureau in Washington, D.C., that Trump would not sign a new DREAM Act being crafted by a team led by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Dick Durbin, D-Illinois. The president is taking a cruel and needless approach. South Florida’s lawmakers — mainly Miami Congressional members Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo — should step up, as they have in the past, to help change the president’s mind.
DREAMers were brought to the United States as children by parents who entered illegally. These kids grew up on hamburgers and Harry Potter and iPhones, but they now are young adults without proper legal papers. More than 800,000 registered since 2012 under DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals approved by former President Obama.
Today, registering for the program may lead to their deportation as, again, Trump’s actions runs counter to all this nation stands for.
The possible end of DACA is a clear sign that not only dangerous criminals, but any undocumented immigrant, even those the law-abiding and ambitious, is eligible for deportation.
Many DREAMers are in high school, eager to legally pursue the American Dream in college or through military service.
The sobering signal from the White House comes as Graham and Durbin planned to re-introduce a version of the long-stalled legislation as early as Thursday. The legislation would have given the DREAMers a life-line, as they stand to lose their protected status because of a court challenge from Texas and nine other states.
Although Graham has called DACA unconstitutional and said the states legally challenging it might be right, he showed some heart and said the rug shouldn’t be pulled out from under the young men and women who came out of the shadows and registered with the federal government. “There is support in the country for a non-felon, nonviolent DREAMer to be allowed to stay and work their way toward citizenship,” he said.
Trump has expressed sympathy for the DREAMers’ plight, keeping the young people fearful and cautiously optimistic at the same time. His opposition to the proposal could cruelly dash their hopes.
One of Trump’s central campaign promises is to crack down on illegal immigration — period — marking a return to Trump’s harsher stance on illegal immigrants.
After his election, and as recently as last week, Trump said he wanted to “work something out” for the DREAMers. Aboard Air Force One, talking with reporters en route to Paris, the president said he was still conflicted over what to do about DACA.
And now it seems the DREAMers will likely lose their legal protection from deportation. The Trump administration has until Sept. 5 to decide whether to rescind the program or face a court challenge by the states.
President Trump should reconsider. The DREAMers should not be casualties in his push to keep his promises and to eliminate all things Obama. Work something out.