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Frank Sharry on Trump and DACA

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“Their real game is to combine hostage taking with a shameless shakedown. Sound familiar?”

On Twitter yesterday, President Trump falsely declared the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program unlawful, reiterated his administration’s desire to have the Supreme Court end the popular and successful program, and called for lawmakers to work on legislation – a transparent attempt to hold Dreamers hostage in an attempt to win radical changes to our immigration system. 

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice: 

DACA is lawful, popular and beneficial to both hundreds of thousands of Dreamers and the country as a whole. The Trump administration’s drive to kill DACA is unlawful according to multiple federal courts. Young immigrants who grew up pledging allegiance to our flag deserve to be formally recognized as the Americans they already are. Trump’s attempt to ruin their lives in pursuit of a racist and xenophobic agenda deserves to go down in history as one of the ugliest chapters of this ugly presidency.

President Trump and Stephen Miller’s game is as obvious as it is disgusting. They are determined to create and then exploit the end of DACA and the desperation it would cause to leverage legislation that would radically restructure our nation’s immigration system. They want to codify into legislation what they are currently attempting to implement by administrative fiat – slash legal immigration, end legal immigration categories used mostly by people of color, gut asylum for refugees, indefinitely detain kids and families, and build an ineffective and costly border wall. All policies that would never have a chance of enactment as standalone measures.   

They won’t get away with it. Following Trump’s decision to end DACA in September 2017, Trump talked a good game while Miller made sure the White House torpedoed every serious bipartisan effort to acheive a legislative deal. Their real game is to combine hostage taking with a shameless shakedown. Sound familiar?

The bigger question is whether the Supreme Court will, once again, enable Trump’s radicalism by ending DACA. To date, SCOTUS has authorized the Muslim ban, approved Trump’s national emergency declaration that allowed him to raid military projects to build his border wall, and greenlighted the return of asylum applicants to violent conditions in countries they passed through on their way to America. Ending DACA would be yet another blow – to immigrants settled in America and to the Supreme Court’s reputation.

For more on DACA and Trump, read this piece from then-CNN reporter Tal Kopan on the series of good faith and bipartisan legislative compromise offers that Trump and Stephen Miller have rejected; and read America’s Voice on the Trump and GOP blame game and underlying motivations surrounding their DACA and Dreamer hostage-taking.