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ICE Doesn’t Care What’s in Trump’s “Heart”, Tweets About How It Can Deport Dreamers

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Trump’s deportation dragnet is catching a whole lot of longtime Americans in its wake, from grandfathers to business owners to young students to workers. Even Dreamers — the young immigrants Donald Trump claims to have such a “heart” for — aren’t necessarily safe.

ICE tweets: Deferred action does not protect from removal

This was underscored by a series of ICE tweets yesterday, apparently apropos of nothing:

In and of themselves, these tweets do not tell us anything new — deferred action has never been permanent, which is why we’ve worked so hard on legislation over the years. But in a world where Dreamers are allowed to move about freely, to legally work, and to live with less fear, DACA suddenly seems like flimsier protection. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) this week told a Dreamer at one of his town halls that she should self-deport. Daniel Ramirez Medina, a Dreamer from Seattle, has been detained for a month despite his DACAmented status. Another Dreamer, Daniela Vargas of Mississippi, was released today after being arrested and detained two weeks ago following a press conference in which she spoke out about her case. However, Daniela was released under an order of supervision, which means that her deportation order is still pending and she could be removed — sans hearing — at any time.

Why is Trump detaining Dreamers?

National media and petition campaigns were mobilized after Daniel and Daniela’s arrests, but it absolutely shouldn’t take so much work to release Dreamers who have already been cleared by DHS and who voluntarily gave their information.

“We shouldn’t have to get down on our knees to get them to respect DACA status,” said Daniel’s lawyer Mark Rosenbaum, in a recent hearing.

“President Trump and his people should keep their hands off of the Dreamers, period,” said Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) today in a statement. “Tweeting out that every DACA recipient is vulnerable to deportation is just another way this President is trying to create fear in immigrant communities, to make families and children think that their government could come after them at any time.”

The fear is that Trump’s agenda could lead Dreamers — like other immigrants — to hunker down, to not speak out about their cases, to not report abuses in the workplace, to not talk to the police when situations arise. And the fear is that Republicans will try to use DACA as a bargaining chip — a “strategic asset” in future immigration legislation battles.

The community is fighting, and we know that resistance works. But if Donald Trump really was only going after “bad hombres”, we wouldn’t need to.