In a nod to reservations held by many lawmakers, the White House plans to delay the enforcement of the president’s decision for six months, giving Congress a window to act, according to one White House official. But a senior White House aide said that chief of staff John Kelly, who has been running the West Wing policy process on the issue, “thinks Congress should’ve gotten its act together a lot longer ago.”
Trump is expected to formally make an announcement tomorrow. The president’s expected decision is likely to make the racists who elected him quite happy. However it is just one more example of the destructive force that Donald Trump has inflicted on America. Leaders in both parties have opposed his move to abolish DACA, including Orin Hatch and Paul Ryan. “Dreamers” are approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were the children of illegal immigrants who have lived in America since childhood, they have been educated in America, they have had health care provided here, and some of whom have served in the military.
The most amazing thing is that America has allowed Dreamers to risk their lives serving in the military. Members of Congress from both parties have gone on record to support allowing Dreamers to serve in the military. Recognizing their “diverse skill sets and backgrounds,” Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.) approved the idea of allowing undocumented immigrants to serve in the military and put themselves on a path to citizenship, calling it a “fine program.” Indeed, military experts have testified that a qualified, diverse military force educated and trained to command the United States’ diverse enlisted ranks is vital to the military’s ability to fulfill its principal mission to provide national security. However now Sessions is supporting Trump’s decision to dissolve DACA. Sessions said:
“We can’t promise people who are here unlawfully that they’re not going to be deported.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who has called on Trump to stand up for the Dreamers, tweeted out her displeasure with Trump’s expected announcement.
Paul Ryan said: “These are kids that know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don’t know another home, and so I really do believe there needs to be a legislative solution, that’s one that we’re working on.”
To be eligible for Dreamer status a person must have arrived in the US before age 16 and lived there since June 15, 2007. They cannot have been older than 30 when the Department of Homeland Security enacted the policy in 2012. As of March 31, 2017, 787,580 people have been approved for the program since it began, according to government figures.
Consider a typical story of a Dreamer. Aurora Fabian has a sign tacked to the wall over her bunk bed. “Happy People Shine Brighter!” From fifth grade onward, Ms. Fabian was out until almost midnight helping her single mother mop, sweep and clean the counters of a bakery before moving on to scrub the tile floors of a nearby Italian restaurant. Through it all, she managed to play high school soccer, run cross-country, work summers and weekends on the Santa Cruz boardwalk. Determined to “change our family history,” as she puts it, Ms. Fabian won two local scholarships and a coveted spot at the University of California.
Juan Robles saved his money for college by picking plums alongside his mother, who raised three children by rising at 4:30 a.m. six days a week to work in the fields. A champion debater, Mr. Robles is easy to spot in his jacket, tie and matching silk pocket handkerchief, a sartorial foreshadowing of his career goal to be a legislator crafting “small policies that can make a big difference in someone’s life.” It’s a difference he knows first hand.
However even if you remain unconvinced that these Dreamers should be allowed to remain in America for altruistic reasons consider the economic impact of deporting these hard working immigrants. The United States could lose up to 700,000 jobs and suffer billions of dollars in lost economic output if Trump ends a program granting work permits to the children of undocumented immigrants, a new report finds.
A report issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services examines the potential economic consequences of cancelling the Obama-era DACA. An average of 30,000 workers could lose their jobs every month if DACA were repealed or permit renewals were held up, the report found. It also estimated that the loss of those workers could cost the country $460.3 billion in economic output over the next decade, with Medicare and Social Security contributions dropping by $24.6 billion.
This is particularly offensive in light of the urgent demand for workers in Houston following the devastation of hurricane Harvey. Houston has 65,000 DACA immigrants that could be deported.