What's clear: Trump is giving Congress six months to write a law
The first alarm pertaining to the 2012 Obama administration policy zeroing in on protection to youngsters who had been living illegally in the United States brought by their parents, was sounded off by President Trump who called the same order "horrible," as he made it one of his campaign promises that it would be "ended immediately."
However, after his assumption to the presidency, Trump was not heard to repeat that aforementioned promise. Observers were quick to point out that the post-election scene could have softened the Trump stance.
President Trump was quoted by news reports: he was "gonna deal with" those receiving deferrals "with heart." But when the fifth day of September arrived, Trump announced in a brief written statement that DACA was coming to its end.
President Obama, who has offered extremely rare public criticism of his successor, strongly disputed Republicans' assertion that he exceeded his presidential power, writing how he relied "on the well-established legal principle of prosecutorial discretion, deployed by Democratic and Republican presidents alike "to set priorities for immigration enforcement."
He called the Trump action "a political decision, and a moral question," adding: "Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we'd want our own kids to be treated."
The same Trump decision was called an act of 'pure cruelty' by numerous voices, one that threatened the well-being of at least 800,000 people who live in the country illegally through no fault of their own, traced to decisions made by their parents.
Trump did not make the announcement himself. He passed it on to Attorney General Jeff Sessions who made a brief speech on DACA. The gist of the pronouncement: those who have already been granted what is known as "deferred status" will not be immediately or suddenly cut off.
Part of the announcement: the administration will give Congress six months to decide whether to renew the protections legislatively before ending them. Although Sessions called it a "wind-down," what he declared, offered no comfort to hundreds of thousands of people raised as Americans.
There lies the possibility that as of a given date, the same DACA recipients will no longer be able to live and work legally on these shores where they were raised, educated, and imbued with the knowledge that the U.S. was the sole country they've known since childhood.
What is pathetic is how numbers of those protected by DACA, led productive lives after reaching the stage where they could find employment opportunities in line with their schooling and training, and now what faces them is the cloud of uncertainty.
Congress can work on the DREAM Act. It is not that hopeless.
There is the Alien Minors Act (identical to DACA), where participants can't have had a serious criminal past and must be in school, or have graduated or serve in the military. Owing to their status, they are far from posing a threat to public safety or national security. It is a comfort to learn that several versions of the DREAM Act have been introduced by both Democrats and Republicans.
Polls indicate that even a majority of Republican voters strongly believe the so-called Dreamers merit help and protection. In studying the reason behind the DACA availability, the youngsters came owing to family ties and wage and employment differentials between
their respective countries of origin and the U.S.
Were DACA to be rescinded, or if Congress were to deny it to proceed, it would be an assault on immigrant families and communities. It is therefore up to Congress to restore a huge measure of sanity and constructive purpose to immigration policymaking.
Should the Dream Act fail due to Republican obstruction or a presidential veto, GOP leaders will need to explain to the majority of Americans, who according to poll studies that approve of DACA, the rationale why Congress won't resort to establishing a humane act that would continue supporting the legalization of the promising youngsters who have proven themselves as worthy members of the U.S. population.
By state, the Department of Homeland Security has data on where most of the "Dreamers" live:
New York...... 41,970
North Carolina.... 27,385
New Jersey........ 22,024
Despite Trump's expressions of 'love' for Dreamers, in moving against DACA, it is clear that he is set in fulfilling the promise to end it, one that he made -- in much stronger and harsher terms during his presidential run.
The "now" scene remains: The DACA status will be honored by immigration authorities until current permits expire.
The delay is meant to give Congress time to pass a law that would solve the status of the DACA holders.