By ADMIR DURAKOVIK
The highly scrutinized Trump administration did itself no favors when on Sept. 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference to announce that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would be rescinded. The Obama-era program (DACA), effectuated in 2012, protected its recipients, or “dreamers,” from deportation and provided them with a renewable two-year work permit.
Now any recipients of DACA are ineligible for Medicaid, Welfare, Food Stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Housing Choice Voucher program (section 8), the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However they are still required to pay taxes that support these systems.
When the Stamp Act of 1765 was passed by the British Parliament, the colonists responded famously by saying “No taxation without representation.” That was the spark to the tension between the British Parliament and the colonies which led to the Revolutionary War and to the formation of the United States of America.
The very foundation on which our country was founded on is under attack with the removal of the DACA program.
Stripping people who have known the United States to be their only home of their rights goes against what our founding fathers and military fought for and still fight for today. President Trump was quick to bring up President George Washington and Thomas Jefferson during a press conference on Aug. 15, defending his initial statement on the Charlottesville protests. Trump continuously remarked how the founding fathers were slave owners in defense of the White supremacists who were protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue. It’s clear he only remembers our founding fathers and what they did when its convenient to him.
Rescinding DACA would not only be a poor move in light of our nation’s history, its a poor move financially as well. A recent study “estimated that terminating DACA…would cost the federal government $60 billion, and would reduce economic growth by $280 billion dollars in the next ten years,” according to CNN.
Those aren’t the only statistics that go against the Trump’s administration’s decision to rescind DACA. A recent national Politico poll showed a clear majority of 76 percent of Americans believe “Dreamers should be allowed to stay.” With a majority of the country in favor of DACA and the tremendous financial implications, it raises the question as to why Trump would go after Dreamers.
Trump had promised during his presidential campaign that he would end DACA and deport its recipients, and in doing so he has backed himself into a corner with no clear path out.
During an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd in 2015, Trump was talking about Dreamers saying “they have to go.” When Todd asked Trump how he plans on deporting Dreamers, Trump responded by saying “Chuck it will work out so well, you will be so happy, in four years you’re gonna be interviewing me and you’re gonna say, what a great job you’ve done President Trump.” Only an hour before Sessions announced the end of DACA, “administration officials privately expressed concern that Mr. Trump might not fully grasp the details of the steps he was about to take,” according to the New York Times. Trump has once again acted without properly assessing the situation and is facing more criticism.
Trump himself doesn’t seem to know what he wants. On Sept. 14 Trump tweeted “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!…..” following it up with, “..They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security.”
If Trump really believes Dreamers should be allowed to stay, he is definitely struggling to provide them any comfort.
His recent tweets of support for Dreamers are extremely similar to a tweet he made supporting LGBT rights during his campaign where he tweeted “I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.”
If he really felt Dreamers should rightfully stay he would’ve never tried to rescind DACA then hand the problem he created over to congress to x. Trump is trying to fulfill illogical promises he made to his supporters during his campaign, and trying to save his image after another poor decision.
Congress has failed to pass immigration reform for over a decade making it seem unlikely they will find a solution for DACA in six months. When Trump does revisit the DACA issue he will have to choose between innocent American lives or satisfying an illogical promise he made to his base during his campaign.