Commentary: Hours after Donald Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by President Obama, editorial boards across the country slammed Trump’s decision to rip away protections from the nearly 800,000 DREAMers who were brought to this country as children. DREAMers contribute to our nation’s economy on a daily basis and rescinding DACA would force hundreds of thousands back into the shadows and tear them away from their families and communities.
See coverage below:
The New York Times: Editorial: Donald Trump’s Cowardice on ‘Dreamers’
“In short, DACA is morally right, legally sound and fiscally smart policy. It was also the only humane choice Mr. Obama had in the face of Congress’s failure to pass any meaningful immigration reform in the last two decades.
If all that weren’t enough, DACA remains overwhelmingly popular among Americans of all political stripes. Polls put its approval rating at roughly double that of President Trump himself. Even the Chamber of Commerce, usually a reliable backer of the Republican legislative agenda, called the decision to end DACA ‘contrary to fundamental American principles.’”
The Washington Post: Editorial: Trump’s heartless decision
“The president didn’t have the spine to announce his decision himself. He shuffled it to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an anti-immigration extremist who seemed to relish sticking a knife in DACA. Mr. Trump told reportersTuesday that he hoped “Congress will be able to help” the dreamers “and do it properly.” But his written statement — “young Americans have dreams too” — was a study in ambiguity. While saying the dreamers wouldn’t be first in line for deportation, Mr. Trump put them on a path to lose jobs, educational opportunities, and the ability to lead open and unafraid lives.
“Tossing red meat to the administration’s hardcore nativist base, Mr. Sessions falsely asserted that DACA amounts to unconstitutional ‘amnesty.’ In fact, DACA is a stopgap that conferred no legal status on its recipients. And despite the administration’s contention that it is legally indefensible, predicting how the Supreme Court would rule on it is a guessing game. Presidents have long exercised broad discretion over the enforcement of immigration law and deportations — a matter of necessity given finite resources.”
Tampa Bay Times: Editorial: Killing DACA shows a lack of compassion and common sense
“In Florida, the loss of DACA protection means more than 30,000 workers could soon lose their jobs. The turnover expense for employers would be huge, and the loss of tax revenues would cost Florida nearly $6 billion in the next decade, according to a study done by the libertarian Cato Institute. Multiply those numbers nationwide, and you get even bigger losses to Medicare and Social Security because Dreamers with jobs are paying into those entitlements.”
The Baltimore Sun: Editorial: Trump and DACA: Dreamers deferred
“President Trump could have avoided this political morass by doing what President Obama did five years ago in erring on the side of protecting a class of people who did nothing wrong and recognizing that their potential contributions to our society are just as great as those of young people who were born here. If the president were really sincere in his sympathy for the dreamers, he could have proposed legislation to protect them rather than just tweeting at Congress. But by trotting out Mr. Sessions to proclaim that ending DACA actually ‘prevents human suffering,’ the president made clear where his sympathies lie. The ‘delay’ of the DACA repeal is nothing but a political fig leaf designed to forestall the kind of backlash the administration saw after the abrupt implementation of the Muslim ban in January. Mr. Trump wants the dreamers out, and he wants Congress to get the blame. Dreamers, who are engaging in protests around the country, including a fast in Washington, aren’t buying it. Neither should we.”
The Los Angeles Times: Editorial: Ending DACA was an act of pure cruelty by Trump
“The president apparently lacked the courage himself to stand before the cameras and publicly dash the dreams of hundreds of thousands of people, so Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions made the announcement in a speech that was low in details and high in praise of his boss.
“There is a fix for this. Congress can and should resurrect the DREAM Act and make it national policy to offer these people a path to legalization. Under the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (just as under DACA), participants can’t have had a serious criminal past and must be in school, or have graduated or serve in the military. They can’t pose a threat to public safety or national security. American society and institutions have molded these young men and women; many of them already are productive members of society.”
The Dallas Morning News: The Trump administration is ending DACA. It is time for Congress to act.
“This is where Congress, particularly Ryan and McConnell as the institution's leaders, have a challenge. Trump has given Congress a six-month window to come up with a replacement program. While it's difficult to have faith Trump will sign any legislation having to do with immigration rights, he has indicated through tweets and public statements he would be open to doing so.
“There are nearly 800,000 people who have received work permits and deportation relief under DACA, and 270,000 people living in Texas are eligible for DACA protection, according to the Migration Policy Institute. Trump's orderon Tuesday thrusts these people — all of them law-abiding workers or students — into limbo with no idea what will happen to them.”
Boston Globe: Editorial: With DACA, Congress has a chance to score a win
“The Trump administration’s decision to end DACA — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protected from deportation 800,000 immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, while allowing them to work — is yet another cruel and misguided move by a president who sees immigrants as little more than political fodder.”
The Detroit Free Press: Editorial: With DACA ending, it's up to Congress to rescue dreamers
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions' insistence that the decision to scuttle DACA was compelled by the administration's deference to the rule of law might seem less flagrantly phony if his boss had not gone out of his way to excuse former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio's own lawless purge less than a fortnight earlier.
“Viewed in the shadow of that travesty, the president's latest directive seems more like a cynical ploy to placate the same base he sought to arouse with his proposals to ban Muslim immigrants, halve legal immigration and bar transgender Americans from military service. The decimation of DACA is just another xenophobic initiative from a White House that loves to celebrate the American dream even as it kicks the ladders from beneath those who aspire to it.”
The Hartford Courant: Editorial 5 Reasons Trump Is Wrong On DACA
“Even his fellow Republican leaders believe President Donald J. Trump is making a serious mistake in ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in six months. Here are five reasons why the president should back off this cruel decision affecting 800,000 young people who grew up in the U.S.”
The Mercury News: Editorial: Is Congress up to the job of reviving DACA and protecting Dreamers?
“President Donald Trump issued DACA’s death sentenceMonday — but he left room for a reprieve: He gave Congress six months to “do their job” and pass a law protecting these young people, whom, he proclaimed, ‘we love.’
“Trump’s victory was based at least in part on a pledge of mass deportation, including the DACA recipients. But some Republicans — and Trump himself — since have become queasy about targeting young people who are here through no fault of their own.
Traditional Republicans also may be moved by the massive outpouring by American businesses on behalf of the Dreamers.”
Arizona Republic: Our View: Trump failed dreamers. Will Congress clean up his mess?
“The White House is aggressively pursuing a course of white-identity politics that is dividing the nation in ways truly ominous. Without a change of course, the tensions in the country could turn to more spasms of violence on the American street.
“Congress has to do its job.
“Congress has to reassure Americans it will urgently pursue new law that will protect the futures of the DACA 800,000.
“To do otherwise is utterly indecent. The ‘Dream Kids’ are our young people, whose every sensibility is American. They speak our language, they listen to our rock ‘n roll, they attend our public schools and eat our Big Macs.”
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Editorial: In rescinding DACA, Trump builds a wall of fear — and makes young people pay for it
“By any measure, the program, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, has been a success. Of the roughly 800,000 individuals who have taken advantage of DACA, an estimated 65 percent are in college and more than 90 percent are gainfully employed, many with Fortune 500 companies.
“But President Donald Trump has cast these individuals back behind a wall of fear and uncertainty with his decision, announced Tuesday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a DACA opponent, to rescind the program after a six-month delay.”
The Chicago Sun-Times: Editorial: Tell it to Alonso Guillen that Dreamers have no place here
“Every Dreamer is in deep trouble now. Sessions announced there will be ‘an orderly, lawful wind-down’ of DACA — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — over the next six months, giving Congress time to take action, should it choose to do so, to protect the Dreamers.
“What a cowardly abdication of responsibility by the Trump administration. Congress is far more likely to replace DACA with a humane alternative if Trump takes the lead, and the president said later on Tuesday that he does not ‘favor punishing children’ for ‘the actions of their parents.’ Yet he has punted to Congress.”
Greensboro’s News & Record: Editorial: A DACA heartbreak
“‘We are a people of compassion and we are a people of law,’ the attorney general said. ‘But there is nothing compassionate about the failure to enforce immigration laws.’
“He couldn’t be more wrong. President Barack Obama’s 2012 DACA order exercised ‘prosecutorial discretion’ to spare qualified young people from immigration enforcement for the best of reasons: That they should not be punished for the actions of their parents. Obama recognized that children raised in the U.S., who in many cases could not remember any other home, who learned English, blended into their communities and aspired to achieve the American Dream, belong here.”
Raleigh’s The News & Observer: Editorial: More Trump pandering on DACA phase-out
“For Trump to phase out the ‘Dreamers’ program is nothing more than a play to the right-wing, xenophobic base that helped bring him to office. Polls have shown the Dreamers program is popular, so it’s not as if Trump’s following the “will of the people” or anything like that. This is same-old, same-old for the Trump White House, a disjointed, confusing (and confused) place where even some staff members seem bewildered by Trump’s actions.
“Trump’s popularity, the lowest on record in polls even in the run-up to his inauguration, has dived of late, but the president seems to be a man tilting at ideological windmills, bouncing from one thing to another.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer: Editorial: What must be done to save the 'Dreamers' from Trump politics
“Republicans who suggest that President Trump had no choice but to stop protecting from deportation immigrants illegally brought into this country as children are trying to cover their backsides for a despicable act that could have been avoided.
“Politics is the only reason Trump went after the Dreamers. Letting DACA live would have put him at odds with a part of his base that he does not want to offend. Don’t count on him to lead the effort to pass legislation that again protects the Dreamers.”
The Charlotte Observer: Only Congress can save innocent Dreamers now
“President Trump’s announcement Tuesday that he will rescind the program will have a very real impact on 800,000 innocent people, including some 28,000 in North Carolina.
“No state may have more on the line than North Carolina as Trump erases America’s policy on so-called Dreamers. North Carolina had the nation’s highest application rate in the program’s first two years.”
USA Today: Editorial: Trump's DACA reversal won't only hurt dreamers
“President Trump's decision on Tuesday to rescind an Obama-era executive order protecting 800,000 "dreamers" — undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children — represents a variant. Call it the reverse wedge issue. Trump has applied it in the manner of a boomerang against himself and his party.
Republicans are divided over DACA. Immigration purists want nothing short of mass deportations, while political pragmatists fear that ending it will do long-term damage both to innocent people and to the party.”
Miami Herald: Congress should negotiate to rescue DREAMers
“Sessions, playing fast and loose with the facts, said that DACA was a ‘unilateral executive amnesty.’
“It was anything but. In 2012 the Editorial Board said: ‘The change in policy does not even amount to an executive order, and it stops far short of providing a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants brought to this country as minors by their parents. It doesn’t offer the coveted ‘green card’ or federal financial aid for education, but rather provides an avenue of redress. … ’
“Sessions also said that DACA ‘contributed to a wave of unaccompanied minors on the southern border that produced terrible humanitarian consequences.’
“What he conveniently didn’t say is that those unaccompanied minors at the Mexican border — mostly from Central America — were not lured to the United States by DACA. Rather, their parents wanted to protect them from drugs and gang violence.”
Orlando Sentinel: Editorial: Don't let the dream die for 800,000 young immigrants
“Failing to revive DACA wouldn’t just deliver a cruel blow to these immigrants, who are Americans in all but their paperwork. Terminating their work permits would cost the U.S. economy $460 billion over the next decade, according to FWD.us, an immigration advocacy organization founded by technology industry leaders. In Florida alone, home to an estimated 33,000 Dreamers, the hit to the economy would amount to $1.5 billion a year.”
Virginian-Pilot: Editorial: Executive actions are no way to run a country
“On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced its latest rejection of an executive action by President Barack Obama — one that protected a group of young adults known as ‘dreamers’ from being deported as long as they are attending school or working in the United States. About 800,000 ‘dreamers’ nationwide, including about 12,000 in Virginia, are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“Congress should reassert its authority by acting soon to create a better approach to immigration, one that establishes clear guidelines to protect the ‘dreamers’ and allows them to remain in the United States.
“If it fails to act, Congress will not only destroy a good program that’s working for 800,000 participants and the country, it will give Trump and future presidents even greater incentive to bypass lawmakers and create their own temporary policies out of the White House.”
Star-Ledger: Editorial: Trump revokes DACA, and now a spineless Congress must respond
“But DACA is mostly a moral debate. It is about people who arrived here as children, who pledge allegiance to no other flag. They have become our soldiers, cops, teachers, business owners, taxpayers, and - in the case of a hero named Alonso Guillen - first responders who lost their lives in Houston.
“You don't deport people like Guillen, a 31-year-old disc jockey who emigrated from Mexico at age 15. You build monuments in their memory.
“And these are people who voluntarily handed over detailed information to the federal government, which promised not to send them back to a place where they often don't even speak the language. That trust could lead to their own exile.”
Florence's Times Daily: Trump rides fence on young immigrants
“Not only is Trump forcing Sessions to be the fall guy for a decision that horrifies DACA residents, their employers, colleges and friends, but he is setting up Congress to be the bad guy. In theory, the same Congress that can’t pass a bill on health care and that already is split on tax reform could resurrect some form of DACA through legislation. The six-month grace period before Obama’s executive order expires is being sold by Trump as an opportunity for Congress to pass humane legislation.”
El Nuevo Herald: Editorial: Una solución tras el fin de DACA
“ A Sessions se le olvidó mencionar que la verdadera razón de la llegada de miles de menores no acompañados –la mayoría procedentes de Centroamérica– por la frontera con México no fue la promulgación de DACA, sino la crisis de criminalidad, drogas y violencia pandillera en Honduras, Guatemala y El Salvador.
“Muchos de los casi 800,000 beneficiarios de DACA vinieron a Estados Unidos mucho antes de que el presidente Obama implementara su orden ejecutiva.
“El Congreso tiene seis meses para encontrar una alternativa al suspendido programa DACA. Debe buscar cuanto antes una solución justa y humanitaria, que salve de la posible deportación a jóvenes que merecen un futuro mejor que la incertidumbre y el temor y cuyo país, en realidad, es este.”
La Opinión: Editorial: Una decisión cruel y cobarde
“Esta es la culminación de una farsa diseñada por el sector antiinmigrante Republicano para forzar la mano de un Presidente que estaba reticente a cumplir la promesa electoral de deportar a estos beneficiarios.
“Es una broma de mal gusto que Trump esconda su responsabilidad detrás del Congreso más inoperante en décadas. Que le pida que resuelva en seis meses una acción de inmigración que se negó a hacerlo por años.
“Es más, el antecedente legislativo de votos en la Cámara Baja en contra de los “soñadores”, los beneficiarios de DACA, hace que la decisión equivalga a enviar las ovejas a los lobos para que las ayuden.”