Instead of Responding to a Manufactured Deadline, Trump Should Keep DACA in Place
Everyone wants to be the first to report what the President will do about DACA. But it’s important to remember that trial balloons and leaks are just that–until we have an official announcement, we will not know the final decision of the President. As the Washington Post reported this morning, “Trump’s plan remains fluid and could change, however, and administration officials stressedSunday evening that the president has not finalized his decision.” We continue to call on Trump to keep DACA in place, instead of letting Texas bully him into cancelling a program that is so vital to so many lives.
The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, regarding the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and Trump’s impending decision:
As we take stock of a new round of leaks about the future of DACA, it’s essential to remember a few things: the debate over the future of DACA remains a manufactured crisis in response to an artificial deadline set by Texas state AG Ken Paxton and his hardline allies. Our country’s elected officials, especially President Trump and statewide leaders in Texas, should be focused on Hurricane Harvey emergency response and recovery, not ending the popular and successful DACA program in accordance to this false deadline.
The fact is, the decision regarding the fate of DACA rests with one man, and one man only: President Donald Trump.
DACA came about in 2012 as a result of an executive action. It can be continued or ended by executive action. If President Trump wants to ‘show great heart,’ then he can and should keep DACA in place.
He can and should spare Dreamers who are American in all but paperwork. He can and should spare members of Congress from having yet another urgent challenge heaped onto an agenda already brimming with urgent challenges. He can and should spare employers from losing hundreds of thousands of valued employees. He can and should spare universities from losing some of their best students. Perhaps most importantly, he can and should spare the nation from yet another emotionally-charged debate that pours more salt into our nation’s wounds.
President Trump said in July on his way back from Paris that the decision regarding DACA’s future ‘is a decision that I make and it’s a decision that’s very, very hard to make.’ That is correct. It’s his decision, and his decision alone. He can and should announce on Tuesday that DACA will continue, and he can and should call Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to tell him to back off his threatened legal action. This will keep DACA in place until Congress has a chance to enact the bipartisan Dream Act.
Will Paxton follow through on his manufactured September 5th deadline? Not if Trump requests that he step back. With Texas experiencing a crisis of biblical proportions, the President can and should tell Paxton that they need to stay focused on responding to and recovering from the Harvey super storm, rather than instigating a man-made crisis based on an artificial deadline that will upend so many young people’s lives.
This would allow Dreamers to keep working, studying and contributing. This would allow Congress to focus on Harvey relief and reconstruction, raising the debt limit, and keeping the federal government open. This would allow the nation to avoid yet another racially-charged battle at a time when we need to come together.
It’s up to you, Mr. President. One decision plus one call is all it takes. Surprise the nation and do the right thing.
See also Alida Garcia’s new Medium post, “5 Questions on #DACA I’d Ask If I Was a Beltway Reporter,” for more information.