Who the hell is an American?

Trump administration rescinds Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program

By Dahlia Walker-Huntington Esq.

SOUTH FLORIDA – Donald J. Trump today very cowardly sent his anti-immigrant Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions to end the Dream.

Trump, after having repeatedly saying since his election that he would treat the Dreamers with “heart”, didn’t have the “heart” to show his face to the world as he destroyed the American Dream for hundreds of thousands of young people.

DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – gave a safety net to over 800,000 undocumented young people who came to America as children.

To qualify for DACA these young people had to have:​
  • Entered the United States before age 16
  • ​Was under 31 years old on June 15, 2012
  • ​Lived in the USA continuously since June 15, 2007
  • ​Was physically present in the USA on June 15, 2012 and was out of status
  • Was currently in school, had graduated high school or obtained a GED or was honorably discharged from the US Coast Guard or Armed Forces
  • Not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or had been convicted of three or more misdemeanors and was not otherwise a threat to US national security or public safety

In June, 2012, The Department of Homeland Security issued guidelines for the DACA program that was similar to other programs that suspended the removal of certain persons along the lines of Temporary Protected Status and the concept of Prosecutorial Discretion.

In addition to not targeting these young people for deportation, the Obama administration gave them Work Authorization that allowed them to work and or attend school and contribute to the social security pool – without being able to secure any benefits.

Trump under pressure to give his “base” a bone, chose to do so on the back and the dream of youngsters who came to America thru no decision of their own and who have contributed significantly to the fabric of this country.

Of the 800,000 who came forward to register with the US government and to pay their filing and renewal fees, it is reported that 95 percent of them are either in school or employed.

Apple estimates that they have 250 DREAMERS employed in California. These young people for the past five years came forward, obtained social security numbers, enrolled in college, found jobs, paid taxes, started businesses, started families, bought cars and houses.

With their inability to earn a living how will their lives and the American economy fare going forward? Not well.

It is estimated by the CATO Institute that ending DACA will reduce economic growth in the United States by $280 billion over the next 10 years and that it will cost the US government $60 billion to deport the DREAMERS.

His Tweet before having his all too willing AG make the decision public was that it was now up to Congress.

Truth is I have been hearing about the DREAM Act for over 20 years and successive Congresses have been unable to craft a simple law to protect the estimated 1.6 million people who would qualify for DACA.

What makes us think that this Republican Congress will pass a law to give legal status to these young people?

The reality is Trump and the Republicans like Sen. Tom Cotton and AG Sessions are bent on cutting legal immigration to this country.

The argument by Sessions can be summarized that DREAMERS are taking American jobs – who the hell is an American?

Trump administration rescinds Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program

America is immigration and Americans are immigrants – unless of course you are a member of a Native American Tribe.

While it shouldn’t have to be pointed out, two of Trump’s wives were not born in America and four of his five children are first generation Americans! DREAMERS embody the ideals of the American dream – hard workers who succeed against all odds.

However, the Nationalists surrounding Trump and Trump himself are bent on reducing immigration to America with the correlation that it will create more jobs for Americans.

They are also supporting the RAISE Act that purports to end family migration in place of merit based migration.

There is a lot of misinformation circulated by Trump and his crew that DREAMERS are “Gang Bangers” – not true, they have to pass a background check for acceptance and renewal into the program; it is being called an “illegal amnesty” – it was not, the participants were given a two-year renewable deferment and not legal status.

The White House in supporting Trump’s decision on Tuesday made reference to African Americans and Hispanics who were being displaced by DACA recipients – politics of division.

The Press Secretary also said Trump upholds the law – hard to square with his pardoning of Joe Arpaio who was convicted of willfully breaking the law.

Also, clear that while decrying Obama’s use of Executive Order in this case, Trump has issued 45 Executive Orders in the first seven months since becoming president.

It is also apparent that Republicans and the White House will be willing to trade the future of the DREAMERS for Trump’s border wall and continue the purely political decision that Trump made on Tuesday.

What’s next for DREAMERS? No one knows and that is particularly cruel to the DREAMERS as their future is now uncertain. It is now up to Congress to step into this crisis and pass legislation that is veto proof to give residency to the DREAMERS.


Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington, Esq. is a Jamaican-American attorney who practices immigration law in the United States; and Family, Criminal & International Law in Florida. She is a Mediator, Arbitrator and Special Magistrate in Broward County, Florida; and a weekly columnist with the Jamaica Gleaner. info@walkerhuntington.com

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