Wonders never cease with this White House. Just when you think it can’t get any worse for the Hispanic immigrant community it does! Not two weeks had gone by from the day the president pardoned Joe Arpaio -- the sheriff from Maricopa County in Arizona in a long string of assaults against this community -- that he decides to terminate DACA, the executive order that deferred the deportation of childhood arrivals to the United States, many of them Hispanics.
So no, this is not just a slap in the face, it is a kick in the gut; yet sadly, it shouldn’t surprise anyone anymore.
Granted, when President Obama signed the executive order back in 2012, I along with many other Republicans warned that what was needed was a legislative solution; otherwise these children would be at the mercy or at the whim of the next president. An executive order does not provide the clarity or the protection that a law does. Regrettably, Obama's action was at that time a politically expedient maneuver that deprived Senator Marco Rubio of the opportunity to introduce legislation to grant these dreamers the protection they deserve.
Fast forward to where we are today, “I love the dreamers,” said the president recently when asked about what would happen to the 800,000 young people who are undocumented in this country, but who came to the United States when they were children. And then, just a couple of days later he decided to rescind DACA. It is at best an awkward way to show love and at worst a complete parody since that decision completely upends the dreamers' lives.
My heart goes out to every single one of the young people impacted by this cruel and savage decision. I can easily put myself in their shoes because I had no say when my parents decided to come to the U.S. Although we were fortunate to come here legally, I can totally relate to them. Let’s be clear: these kids did not choose to come here, some of them were babies, some were teenagers,like I was. When your parents say we are going, you don’t have a choice, you just go.
Just like little Barron Trump had absolutely no say in "immigrating" from New York to Washington D.C., neither did the dreamers. They, just like him, were taken to a new world. What child wants to leave their school, their friends, their cousins, to go to an unknown place where they don’t know anybody, and where most likely they don’t even speak the same language?
Americans of goodwill and anyone who is a parent can sympathize with the dreamers' plight; that’s why polls show over 70 percent of the American public believes these young people should be granted the ability to stay here legally -- especially because they are contributing members to our country, some even serving in the armed forces.
Many of the dreamers have absolutely no recollection of the country they came from because they were babies when they arrived in the U.S. Some don't even speak that country’s language or have no relatives there; for them America is their country; it is the country they know, love and honor.
My heart aches for the America I knew before this president got to the White House. No, it wasn’t perfect and yes, there were divisions, but he has exacerbated those divisions to a degree rarely seen before. The question we should ask is this: just exactly how rescinding DACA brings us all together? That should be a litmus test to every decision this president makes.
Far from bringing us together as a nation, he seems to relish, in a perverted way, the chaos he provokes. How else can one explain the absurd way he went about rescinding DACA? A better president would have announced the decision, himself, and not delegated it to the one individual, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has made it his mission to go after the undocumented with a vengeance never seen before.
Secondly, he would have provided clarity about the expectations of a law he might sign. He would have presented a set of parameters delineating what should be included in the legislation.
In addition, a better leader who truly loved the dreamers would have stated his desire to work with the House and the Senate to expeditiously guide the legislation to a conclusion, not send an order on Twitter to ask the legislators "to do their job.” And he would not have provided a fact sheet suggesting that dreamers should be prepared to be deported, creating even more confusion to an already messy situation.
All the more revolting is the fact that it appears he intends to use this proposal as a barganning chip to get other items he wants, whether is the great beatufiul wall or something else. What was made clear is that it will not stand alone.
What makes this decision so sickening is the political motivation behind it. Make no mistake: by punting this decision to Congress he is sending an unequivocal message to his base that he is fulfilling a campaign promise to undo the Obama executive orders he deems unconstitutional. More than once he stumped not just against illegal immigration but also against the dreamers, so where is the love?
I fervently hope that Republicans in Congress do not fall prey to more divisions, to more acerbic rhetoric against a group people whose only sin was to follow their parents' orders. If Republicans want to save their leader from himself, it would be wise to do right by the dreamers, lest we forget that a society is judged by how well it treats its more vulnerable.