What’s next for hate groups after #UniteTheRight? Ending DACA.
Just ask Mark Krikorian, the leader of a hate group called CIS who advocated for pulling the plug on DACA just days as the Charlottesville attack. In addition, Krikorian proposed trading the DREAM Act for a slew of anti-immigrant legislation. According to McClatchy, top White House officials, including Ivanka and Jared Trump, have bought into Krikorian’s idea.
In 2012, President Obama, under intense pressure from immigrant youth, announced the launch of DACA, a temporary program that allows Dreamers to come forward, pass a background check, and apply for work permits. The program is formally called “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” or DACA for short.
In just five years, DACA has allowed nearly one million young people to come out of the shadows, work legally, and live in relative fear of deportation. It is widely considered to be one of President Obama’s most popular programs. DACA helped to drive economic growth, keep families together, promote education and community integration, and strengthen civic ties throughout the country.
A poll from Global Strategy Group found that by more than a 2:1 margin, 58%-28%, Americans oppose an effort to repeal DACA. However, Donald Trump and his administration are taking proactive steps to end the program.
So where’s the disconnect? The Trump administration is deeply connected to the hate group movement in America. This connected isn’t limited to covering for the Hate Groups at the #UniteTheRight rally in Virginia.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration announced that Julie Kirchner, former executive director of the anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) was named as the Ombudsman for the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) branch of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, since its founding in 1979, FAIR’s agenda has “centered on a complete moratorium on immigration to the United States and included vicious attacks on non-white immigrants.”
Its founder was white nationalist John Tanton, an avowed eugenicist who also founded the hate group that Mark Krikorian now leads.
The designation of Krikorian’s organization as a hate-group has struck a nerve with him, but the ties between CIS and white supremacist and nazi organizations run deep. SPLC provided a deep dive into its rational, noting “In recent years, CIS has routinely disseminated the works of white nationalist writers.” In the wake of further protestations, SPLC and the Center for New Communities identified 2,012 times Krikorian’s group linked to white nationalist groups.
For Krikorian, ending DACA isn’t just about deporting Dreamers who grew up in this country and graduated from our schools, it’s about using these young people as a political pawn to further his hate groups extremist agenda.
Krikorian laid out his strategy recently in the National Review writing that ending DACA would “light a fire under Congress” to pass legislation that would trade the permanent protection of dreamers for “the RAISE Act, the Davis-Oliver Act, and mandatory E-Verify.”
If you’ve heard anything about the RAISE Act, the Davis-Oliver Act, and mandatory E-Verify, then you know these policies are some of the most extreme anti-immigrant proposals we’ve seen in decades and they come straight out of the white nationalist playbook.
Trump supporters have been committing acts of violence against people of color for nearly two years, but the latest attack in Virginia has the GOP grappling with their long-time in deference to white nationalists and hate groups in their ranks.
We’ll know the outcome of the Republican civil war by what happens to DACA. Will the party of Lincoln stand by and let the Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Texas AG Ken Paxton carry out the wishes of Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and their white nationalist allies?
Or will Republicans stand up to Trump and the white nationalists in their party and keep DACA in place until Congress can enact a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers.
As Frank Sharry recently said, “The moment of truth near. As they say, it’s a time for choosing. In the name of all that makes America special, may they choose wisely.”