With President Trump’s decision to put an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, many Americans are emotionally reacting with a mixture of shock, sadness, and disappointment, as protests have broken out all over the country. In times like these, America’s listening for the sage words of former President Barack Obama — whose administration was the architect of the program — more than ever.
Thankfully, on Tuesday afternoon Obama put out an eloquent and lengthy statement on Facebook, and while it doesn’t undo the heartbreaking decision made by Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, it does at least provide some solace and comfort in these troubling times. The former POTUS started out by admitting that immigration can be a controversial topic, and that we all strive for safety, secure borders and a dynamic economy. He went on to say that he understands that “people of goodwill” can have legitimate disagreements about how to fix the system, however that’s not what this boils down to.
But that’s not what the action that the White House took today is about. This is about young people who grew up in America – kids who study in our schools, young adults who are starting careers, patriots who pledge allegiance to our flag. These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants. They may not know a country besides ours. They may not even know a language besides English. They often have no idea they’re undocumented until they apply for a job, or college, or a driver’s license.
Over the years, politicians of both parties have worked together to write legislation that would have told these young people – our young people – that if your parents brought you here as a child, if you’ve been here a certain number of years, and if you’re willing to go to college or serve in our military, then you’ll get a chance to stay and earn your citizenship. And for years while I was President, I asked Congress to send me such a bill.
He continued, reminding us that this proposed bill never came, which led to the creation of the DACA program, and has only led to the deportation of criminals and made America overall stronger and more secure as a result.