After more than a year of first denouncing, then softening his stance on the DREAMers and even urging Congress to find a solution for them, on Easter Sunday President Trump lashed out and dashed their dreams with a tweet. There likely will not be a deal struck to spare them from eventual deportation orders, he said.
What a shameful treatment of DREAMers of whom about 106,000 live in Florida. “NO MORE DACA DEAL!” Trump tweeted in all caps. That means he means it — unless it’s a cruel ploy to get Congress to scare up money to pay for his border wall.
Barring a Congressional miracle, the estimated 800,000 young adults protected under President Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA — which shielded them from deportation and gave work permits to those brought to the United States illegally by their parent when they were young — could be kicked out of America, where they have lived most of their lives.
It’s a sad and unnecessary turn of events for the DREAMers, who, thanks to Obama’s presidential order, were able to come out of the shadows. Before DACA, they could not legally work or attend some colleges.
But Trump’s bluster was riddled with confusion that the DACA kids were part of a human caravan from Central America, as reported on Fox News this weekend. Trump co-mingled them — either heedlessly, or because, shrewdly, he knows his true believers will buy anything he says — and deemed them all unworthy of living in the United States. DACA kids have a different story and must have arrived here by 2007 to be eligible for the special status. No one else is eligible, particularly newcomers.
Trump wants Democrats to bear the blame for failing the DREAMers. However, he’s letting a bipartisan remedy through his fingers.
Unfortunately, after first gaining some traction in their effort to remain in the U.S. legally — most recently as pawns in Trump’s effort to finance a wall in the Mexican border — the bipartisan deal never took flight.
Also in recent weeks, the plight of the DACA kids was overshadowed, and understandably so, by other young activists, the Parkland shooting survivors. Democrats and Republicans once appeared to want to help the DREAMers, but no one now seems to be able to do anything concrete. Florida will be affected. If Congress cannot reach a deal, the deportations would be the equivalent of taking 106,00 people out of the economy. Some will say that’s good news, but at what cost and misfortune for so many?
Whether they are entrepreneurs, teachers, students, medical professionals or members of the military, DREAMers are making an economic impact. Now, the good jobs that many landed because of DACA will likely disappear as employers recoil. The college attendance they won with their temporary legal status could be undone. In the Miami-Dade school system, DREAMers have a champion in Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, who has vowed not to allow local DACA students to be denied a public school education.
“We will continue to do all that we can to support immigrant youth who simply want to acquire a high-quality education and pursue their career aspirations in the country they have known as their home,” Carvalho told the Editorial Board.
People don’t realize how profoundly this presidential pronouncement will hurt lives. The DREAMers desperately need one more shot at a miracle. Reasonable minds in Congress should keep pushing.