Donald Trump’s administration has officially ended the DACA program. It took just ten minutes for Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions to announce the end of the popular Obama-era program. Thousands of young people who want to work and study in the only country some of them have ever known will now have their lives thrown into limbo by a president determined to push through a racist, xenophobic agenda.
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, extended a temporary legal status to young adults who were brought here as children. Georgia has more than 47,000 young people who have been eligible for DACA, and there are more than 800,000 young DACA recipients across the nation. The DACA program was created after Congress failed to pass the DREAM Act during former President Barack Obama’s tenure in office.
Sessions called the program “an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws” and “an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch.” Unlike, say, the Muslim Ban? Trump has certainly been willing to push through his agenda with executive orders, and has already had more than a few shot down by the judicial branch for being unconstitutional.
“Societies where the rule of law is subject to political whims and personal biases tend to become societies afflicted by corruption, poverty, and human suffering,” Sessions also said during the press conference without a shred of self-awareness.
Former President Barack Obama spoke out against the decision shortly after the announcement, writing to his followers on Facebook:
“To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel.”
He went on to say, “Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question.”
Georgia’s leaders had predictably partisan responses, with Democrats opposing the move and many Republican leaders praising the Trump administration’s “leadership.”
Sen. David Perdue used the moment to promote his anti-immigrant and anti-refugee RAISE Act, saying in a press release that his bill should be part of any new immigration reforms Congress considers. Trump spoke at a press conference with Perdue in support of the measure just last month. Perdue plugged the RAISE Act during the press conference announcing the end of DACA as well, meaning it’s like the administration will use DREAMers as a leverage point to pass Perdue’s highly problematic legislation.
Sen. Johnny Isakson, signaling a bit of a less ridiculous stance than some of his Republican colleagues, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that these young people should not be punished for the actions of their parents.
“Children who received status under President Obama’s deferred action executive order should not be punished for their parents’ choices. Congress should protect these young people while also working toward stronger measures to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws going forward,” Iaskson said.
Sen. Isakson needs to hear from constituents loud and clear that it’s time for Congress to pass the DREAM Act. Isakson can be reached at his D.C. office at (202) 224-3643 or his Atlanta-area office at (770) 661-0999.
Better Georgia is also asking folks to sign this petition urging Donald Trump not to deport the 800,000 DREAMers brought to this country as children.