Donald Trump reportedly will announce on Tuesday that he will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the legal protection accorded to 800,000 young people, known as “Dreamers,” who have lived in the United States since they were children. Dreamers are contributing members of society who grew up here but happened to be born in another country to parents who moved here without the proper papers.
So much for not being punished for the sins of our parents. And for not being arbitrary and capricious in our public policy. Two siblings, a year apart in age, could face very different circumstances simply because the younger one was born inside the United States and the older one outside. One would be, thanks to our Constitution, an American citizen, with all the rights and privileges citizenship grants. The other could be a demonized “other,” subject to the whims of Trump.
The United States is the home of both siblings, just as much as it is for everyone else who grew up here. President Obama appropriately coaxed Dreamers out of the shadows on the promise that their government wouldn’t come along and exile them from their homes. They trusted their government. By doing so, not only are the Dreamers now in jeopardy, but so are other members of their families.
Trump’s action is part of his larger war on immigrants. He recently suggested changing the immigration laws so that the number of people immigrating to the United States would be cut in half. He has defamed immigrants by asserting that they are criminals ― even though immigrants have lower crime rates than native-born Americans. He has unleashed the power of the federal government to hunt down and deport people on the flimsiest of excuses, often separating mothers from children in the process.
His attitude toward immigrants is ignorant, stupid, and immoral. Trump is showing himself to be cruel and callous. His cavalier announcement that he would wait until after the holiday weekend to announce what he plans for the Dreamers and their families perfectly exemplifies his cruel and callous indifference to causing fear and worry.
But his policies are more than cruel and callous. They are destructive of our country in general and of our Social Security system, in particular.