Boston Globe editorial and Fabiola Santiago Miami Herald column look at Texas as reminder of why President Trump should keep DACA in place
Two must-read pieces today connect the dots between the devastation in Houston, the essential role of DACA recipients and other immigrants in helping with the Texas and Louisiana response and recovery, and the potential end of the popular and successful DACA program — a push led by Texas leaders, such as state AG Ken Paxton.
A Boston Globe editorial, titled “As Houston Rebuilds, It Will Need Dreamers,” states in part:
Nowhere is the cruelty of ending existing protections for undocumented workers more obvious than in hurricane-ravaged Houston. As President Trump contemplates unraveling DACA, the Obama-era promise to undocumented youth who were brought to the United States as children, Houston puts in sharp relief the value of keeping the program in place and letting its beneficiaries — the so-called Dreamers — live their dream.
A real-life case in point: Lucia Guerrero, a young immigrant from Mexico who lives in the Houston area, missed work two days this week. Even though Hurricane Harvey spared the home she lives in with her parents and two brothers in Rosharon, just south of Houston, their street remained flooded knee-deep for three days.
Once the waters receded, Guerrero, a certified dialysis technician, finally made it to the kidney care clinic she works at in a Houston suburb on Wednesday. The 26-year-old and her family suffered no major losses in Harvey. But Guerrero, who provides life-saving care to Houston dialysis patients, may not be able to return to work at all.
DACA, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, has granted work permits and a reprieve from deportation to about 800,000 young immigrants — including Guerrero and her two brothers. Ending the protections for these workers at a time like this in Houston would create a new humanitarian disaster on top of the existing humanitarian disaster.
And in the Miami Herald, columnist Fabiola Santiago writes an open letter to President Trump imploring him to keep DACA in place. In the piece, Santiago makes the following points about AG Paxton and Texas:
The man leading the misguided fight against the Dreamers, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, is under indictment on felony security fraud charges and faces a December trial. Surely, you’ve heard.
Who’s the criminal to watch now?
Paxton certainly better fits the label. He may have at his disposal the best legal guns in town, but an indictment rap is no small thing. Unless, he’s counting on another vile pardon from you of a law enforcement offender.
…getting back to Texas, I hope you were moved by the well-stocked convoy Mexico sent to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. I hope Texas — whose government is waging this petty legal battle to harm immigrant children — is touched as well. This isn’t the first time Mexico, a country far less wealthy than the United States, sends help. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Mexico sent soldiers and supplies across the border, and they helped thousands of people who had taken refuge in San Antonio.
No doubt there’s a push for urgency with all of the immigration issues piled on your desk, Mr. President. No surprise there. This is a country of immigrants, and no matter how many generations removed from the first wave, that fact remains its beating heart. Policy won’t change that, although you can claim a partial victory in that, under your watch, desire to emigrate to this country is plummeting, and so are arrivals.
The fate of the meritorious Dreamers shouldn’t rest on the whims of an attorney general with plenty of dirty laundry.