Trump rescinds Obama’s immigrant student amnesty. Playing to his base or playing with fire?

Aisha Yaqoob, center with microphone, was among hundreds of activists who demonstrated outside the Atlanta City Detention Center Monday, Sept. 4, 2017, in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Jeremy Redmon/jredmon@ajc.com

Was President Donald Trump right to end the Obama-initiative that enabled undocumented immigrants brought here as children to attend college and work?

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today the White House is eliminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, which President Obama signed into law in 2012.

“The program known as DACA … is being rescinded,“ said Sessions, calling it an “overreach.”

Trump appears to be throwing the contentious question of what to do with kids brought to the United States as young children back to Congress. On Twitter this morning, he said: “Congress, get ready to do your job — DACA!

Under DACA, immigrants who came here as children, attend school and don’t have any felony convictions can qualify for renewable two-year work or school permits. Nationwide, nearly 800,000 people remain in the country due to DACA; in Georgia,  24,135 people are in the program. It appears those who have DACA now will be allowed to stay through the end of their permits.

Jeremy Redmon covered a protest Monday on immigration and wrote about the impact of Trump reversing the protections.

Among those he interviewed for the AJC story was 19-year-old Mariana Aguilar.

Asked what she would say to Trump if she could have a conversation with him, Aguilar said she would point to how she is working at Chick-fil-A, supporting her family and paying state and federal income taxes, just like U.S.-born citizens. She is also studying to become a medical assistant at Georgia Gwinnett College.

“Just give all of us a chance,” she said. “We are all equal. And we should all get the opportunity to work. We are not doing anything bad here. We are helping out the economy.”

In a piece for this blog in February, a student benefiting from DACA, Jaime Rangel, wrote:

I was brought to the United States illegally when I was 6 months old; before I could walk, before I could talk, and long before I had any rights to make legal decisions of my own. I love America. I work hard, follow the rules, and because I grew up in Georgia, I speak with a southern accent. The United States is my home, and I don’t know any other – which is why it is so frightening to think that I could be facing possible deportation to a country I have never known.

I’m a student at Dalton State College, studying finance and economics. I hope someday to work in governmental affairs and work with our elected officials on policies that can help my state remain the number one state to do business. I want to help my community grow, prosper, or as Gov. Nathan Deal said recently on his state of the state “accentuate the positive, and eliminate the negative.”

But I may not get the chance.

There is a lot of debate around whether to maintain or dump DACA, including within Trump’s own household. His son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly has advised Trump to maintain the program.

The New York Times reports:

Moderates, including Mr. Kushner, and the National Economic Council chairman, Gary D. Cohn, had urged the president to reach beyond his hard-right populist base to embrace a program that enjoys significant public support, even among Republicans. Business leaders, among them political allies like the media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman and chief executive of the Blackstone Group, believe any move to limit legal immigration limits the work force and hurts the country’s international reputation.

But the moderates in Mr. Trump’s midst, Mr. Cohn in particular, are somewhat less influential these days, after several expressed their disgust at the president’s response to the racial riots in Charlottesville, Va., last month. Mr. Sessions, who has experienced his own deep freeze with Mr. Trump over the Russia investigation, has regained some of his influence, pressing Mr. Trump to end the DACA program before the courts force his hand. Mr. Miller, a former Sessions aide, has cast Mr. Trump’s actions as a key test of the president’s commitment to the economic nationalist agenda he ran on in 2016.

Your thoughts?

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36 comments
USA&UK;,,JOBS
USA&UK;,,JOBS


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Dianne Gray Rutland
Dianne Gray Rutland

THIS IS NOT ON TRUMP BUT ON CONGRESS. IF CONGRESS IS TO LAZY OR UNWILLING TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT, THEN FIRE YOUR CONGRESSMAN. Many peoplehave been waiting in line to become legal citizens and these kids brought here illegally should not jump line. These "Dreamers" will not be going back to their homeland or birthplace.

readcritic
readcritic

It is time for DACA to end and also time to discontinue the birthright citizenship (anchor baby) law. Average American citizens have "Dreams" too and those dreams center on the ability to be able to get out from under the tax burden imposed by welfare programs on the middle class worker by liberal politicians. Follow the path to citizenship legally. 

bu22
bu22

You fail to note the obvious in your post.  The executive order is being challenged in the courts by the states.  It is almost certainly unconstitutional.  If Trump didn't do this, the taxpayers would pay a bunch to lawyers to get to the same place.  So most of the comments you are posting are irrelevant.   And surveys show that most Trump supporters do NOT favor kicking out the 12 million illegals already here.

Starik
Starik

@bu22 It should be easy to pass immigration reform then...

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Over 24,000 Dreamers in GA. Don't give me this BS. It is HATE!!!!

AlreadySheared
AlreadySheared

Trump is correct on this (hard to believe I just typed those words).

DACA went beyond the President's prosecutorial discretion to create new legislation which conferred benefits on Dreamers.  Sunsetting this program in 6 months and calling on Congress to do its job in creating new immigration law is balanced, humane, and correct. CONGRESS is the body that is supposed to write new laws, the President should never have done this unilaterally.

Astropig
Astropig

@AlreadySheared


Agree.These people have no standing to demand anything.They are not citizens and the constitution doesn't apply to them,but laws do.


If congress passes a law giving them rights and citizenship,then I say God bless 'em and welcome to America.Then it is all nice and lawful,like it should be.


But even that won't solve the basic problem here-Mexico (and Guatemala and El Salvador etc)have corrupt oligarchies in place that will never reform their rotten systems as long as they can export their domestic problems to the USA.

Starik
Starik

@Astropig @AlreadySheared The "illegals" are the people with the guts, intelligence and courage to risk the journey north. I respect that. We need them.

Beverly Wilkerson
Beverly Wilkerson

I'm a registered Republican for many many years, but I thought this was a good thing and I'm sorry to see Trump do this! They have to have graduated from high school, or have a G.E.D., and have no criminal record. They speak English, and are "Americanized." Isn't that what we want? I feel sorry for these kids. They came as kids. They didn't have a choice, although I'm pretty sure all of them are glad they were raised in America with all its advantages as opposed to Mexico. I'm sad for these "Dreamers!"

redweather
redweather

Edward Abbey once expressed the view that our immigration problem hadn't been solved because conservatives "love their cheap labor" and liberals "love their cheap cause."

liberal4life
liberal4life

No amnesty for DACA recipients, but pardon for a sheriff who broke the law...

class80olddog
class80olddog

I thought that the court had declared DACA dead anyway.

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

Here is a statement from former U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr., now president and CEO of the Education Trust:


“The Trump administration’s decision to end DACA is irresponsible and immoral.

“For many DACA recipients, America is the only country they’ve ever known. DACA has benefited communities, schools and colleges -- but most importantly, this program has helped students by giving them the chance to attain a higher education so they can build a better future for themselves, their families and the country they love.

“Our diversity is what makes us stronger. The very fabric of America is threaded from the hands of immigrants whose contributions are absolutely vital to our democracy and our future. I am disheartened by the actions of this administration to dismantle the progress we’ve made as a nation, and to violate the values we hold dear.

“The only acceptable response to this action is for Congress to show strong moral leadership and immediately begin working to pass the bipartisan Dream Act to put these young people on a path to citizenship. At The Education Trust, we will continue to fight to ensure that all students, especially those historically underserved, have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”


MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions for ending the deferred actions for illegal immigrants:

"President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are restoring the separation of powers and the rule of law by ending Obama's unconstitutional executive amnesty programs for illegal immigrants. Obama had usurped constitutional authority from Congress by using his ‘magical’ pen and phone to create his own law out of whole cloth. In the process, Obama threw our immigration system into chaos by creating an incentive to break the law and travel here illegally. Through this action, Trump and Sessions are sending the clear message that the law will be enforced no matter how illegal immigrants arrived in the U.S. or what they did afterward. By ending executive amnesty, the rule of law on our nation's borders has been restored."

Astropig
Astropig

@MaureenDowney


Agree with Rick Manning here.If this is such a great and wonderful thing,why didn't Obama submit it as a bill,to be voted on to become law? Then it could be enforced and respected as having been codified by the people's representatives.


If "everybody" wants this,why hasn't the congress formally changed our immigration law to reflect that?


It seems that Mexico's corrupt policies have corrupted our public policy by empowering politicians and political actors (like Randi Weingarten,see below) to only observe and enforce laws that they personally agree with,thus weakening everyone's respect for the law.

Astropig
Astropig

@Starik @Astropig @liberal4life @MaureenDowney


That's the problem with the Clinton's-They make you numb to wrongdoing and law skirting until their corruption feels "normal".


I have to assume that the rule of law is something that is totally optional or situational with you. Sure seems so.

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

Here is a statement from Dan Stein, president of the immigration reform group FAIR, on the decision by President Trump to wind down DACA:


  “In our view, DACA was an unconstitutional abuse of executive authority by President Obama. Before implementing the program in 2012, President Obama stated on 22 previous occasions that he did not have the power to grant de facto amnesty and work authorization to entire classes of illegal aliens. His subsequent efforts to grant similar blanket deferments were found to be unconstitutional by the courts.

 “As President Obama stated when he implemented DACA, there were no guarantees that the program would continue after he left office. President Trump repeatedly stated during the campaign that he would end DACA.The winding down period announced today will not only give DACA recipients time to get their affairs in order, but also gives Congress a unique opportunity to reengage in the immigration debate. President Trump has made clear his vision is for real immigration reform, which includes:

Move to merit-based immigration while reducing overall numbers;

Construction of the border wall;

Increased interior enforcement;

Defunding of dangerous and illegal sanctuary cities;

Enact mandatory, national E-Verify to end the jobs magnet.

“Congress should seize this opportunity to come together and forge these much-needed reforms in our nation’simmigration policy.  If the Democrats fail to show up at the negotiating table, it raises the legitimate question ofwhether DACA is something that the Democrats really want, or if it has merely been used as a convenient political football for fundraising and energizing their base.

“President Trump has indicated that he is willing to forge a long-term solution for real immigration reform, but it takes two sides to make a deal. The American public is watching.”

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

Will post reactions to Trump's DACA decision as I get them:

Here is one from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten: 


“The young people covered by DACA are woven into our communities—learning in, working in, defending and contributing to the country that is their home. Offering protection to DACAmented immigrants was done based on the understanding that America is stronger when we value people and create opportunity to achieve the American dream, regardless of demography or geography.

“President Trump made a promise that he would treat Dreamers with ‘great heart.’ Now, for seemingly political reasons, he is breaking his promise to students, teachers, doctors, nurses and lawyers who took him at his word. This is not the America I know—an America that says one thing to its citizens and then does another. Betraying DACA Dreamers is betraying the values of our diverse and welcoming nation. America will not be stronger or more secure when these young people are torn away from the country they love and call their own. America will be diminished—and the toll will be measured by families ripped apart, people cast into the shadows and into poverty, businesses upended, economies weakened and dreams shattered.

“As children return to school, many carry with them constant, crippling terror and uncertainty because of their immigration status. Children should be free to learn and live without fear. Inhumane immigration policies deprive them of that freedom.

“President Trump has an opportunity to lead on this issue. The time has come for the president and Congress to offer comprehensive solutions to our broken immigration system. We must defend DACA now, but we know the enduring work is to provide pathways to citizenship for millions of students, families and neighbors working and living alongside us, which includes passing the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017.

“The AFT will continue to fight to protect undocumented students, refugees, individuals with temporary protective status, and their families from the threat of deportation. A nation built by immigrants should welcome those in pursuit of the American dream, not pull up the ladder behind us.”

class80olddog
class80olddog

It is high time that congress took up immigration reform - but with the current partisan split, nothing will get done. You might start by offering a solution to DACA coupled with funding for the border wall.

Our porous borders
Our porous borders

The average DACA recipient is in his/her mid-twenties: not exactly the helpless child they're portrayed as in these sob stories.

And it's costing taxpayers a fortune to school the children of illegal aliens and provide them with free medical care, food stamps etc. Plus, they go on to compete directly with the children of citizens and legal immigrants for jobs.

Keep your campaign promises, Mr. President!

readcritic
readcritic

@Our porous borders

Recent studies have shown that 1 in 8 people in the U.S. is an illegal immigrant and 50% of those are receiving assistance from welfare programs. Guess where tax dollars go. Does an American in any other country get this kind of welcome support? Even our military families (who risk life and limb to serve and protect in other countries) must be provided for overseas at U.S. bases because there is no free schooling with ESL classes provided by the host country. Then our military return and have great difficulty finding jobs after serving multiple tours of duty. Stop the free handouts to illegal invaders.

Astropig
Astropig

Once more,the problem here is not President Trump-The problem is Mexico. That failed narco-state has used the USA as a safety valve to allow their citizens to migrate rather than fix their state sanctioned corruption for decades.Allowing and encouraging their people to leave for economic opportunity and freedom is the low-friction way for an oligarchy down there to avoid losing their grip on power.The DACA kids are victims of Mexico's policies,not ours.


It's only a relatively recent phenomenon that cynical politicians in the U.S. have sought to turn Mexico's problem into a political opportunity for themselves.With their crony capitalist buddies in big business urging them on,(to secure below- market wage costs),these DACA people are just political pawns.The program is not a law,it's not a constitutional construct,it's never been subject to the voters judgement.It needs to end and if the people want to create or continue it,it should be passed into law,in an open vote in congress.

Starik
Starik

@Astropig We need the workers. Don't blame Mexico for providing them.

Astropig
Astropig

@Starik @Astropig


Then why don't they go about finding them the legal way?  By offering them a fair wage and the same benefits that they give themselves?If their business model only works with race-to-the-bottom wages,how does that make America stronger?



Starik
Starik

@Astropig @Starik The nature of the work is unpleasant. Americans won't do the work. Too much booze, drugs and general unwillingness.