DACA Dreamers: Raised in America, Its Promise Yanked Away

DACA Dreamers: Raised in America, Its Promise Yanked Away September 7, 2017

Last Tuesday, I was puking my guts up thanks to a stomach bug. This Tuesday, I felt it coming on again thanks to our vomitous president. You would think that I would be suffering from nausea-fatigue after President Trump claimed that both sides were to blame for the Charlottesville violence that claimed the life of Heather Heyer. He further opined that “very fine people” marched with the neo-Nazis shouting racist and anti-Semitic slogans. Compared to those actions, throwing Dreamers under the Trump Train should seem par for the course.

Then why is what our esteemed president is doing to the DACA Dreamers making me want to grab for the bucket again?

Imagine being forced from your home and sent to a place you don't even remember. Will the Dreamers' American dream turn into that nightmare?
Dreamers protest via Todd Dwyer, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Surely, what Trump did by pardoning Joe Arpaio was at least as harmful to Dreamers, those of Hispanic heritage, or any homo sapiens with functioning moral centers. Arpaio was convicted of ignoring a court injunction against violating basic constitutional rights. In the guise of cracking down on illegal immigrants, the then-sheriff arrest people on the suspicion of being illegal immigrants…based solely on his feeling that they looked like they were illegal.

Hmm, let’s see, what external characteristic would lead to that hunch? And what excuse did the Leader of the Free World give for pardoning the scofflaw sheriff? He was just doing his job.

Did Arpaio swear on a stack of bibles to violate the constitution? Was the oath of office altered while I was in my coma?

This is terrifying on so many levels. We already knew Trump doesn’t respect the rule of law. But could he at least make a pretension of protecting and defending the Constitution? Would it kill him to pretend to respect 241 years of US jurisprudence?

As the pace of the Mueller investigation quickens, you would think Trump of all people would want to preserve the presumption of innocence under the law. But maybe undermining the authority of the judicial branch is a higher priority for him. After all, those legal meanies keep ruling that his executive actions are unconstitutional.

Some of them haven’t even been “Mexican.”

Since The Donald is still on a search and destroy mission against our most basic democratic norms, maybe he should come right out and say that he doesn’t feel he has an obligation to obey the constitution. Rules are made to be broken, believe me.

That should send the base cheering.

Where can the president go from here to pander to his shrinking base? After all, his definition of heart is to delay the threat of tossing the Dreamers out of the country for six months (while the dysfunctional GOP congressional caucus — that couldn’t repeal Obamacare with unified control of both houses — displays its disunity once again).

Imagine being forced from your home and sent to a place you don't even remember. Will the Dreamers' American dream turn into that nightmare?
Via Joe Wolf, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Paul Ryan told the Dreamers to rest easy. That alone should’ve kept them up at night.

Hell, the Trump administration tried to write grandparents out of the nuclear family until courts — including the Supreme Court — ruled against them. How could they get lower than barring granny from joining the family? If grayhaired grandparents didn’t make the cut, then certainly Dreamers didn’t have a chance with the Trumpists.

According to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals criteria, applicants must have been brought the the US by their parents before the age of 16 and lived here at least five years. Dreamers are further required to be in school, have graduated from high school or obtained a GED, or have retired from the military. They must also show English proficiency and knowledge of US history.

Our own president would probably flunk the last two criteria.

The Dreamers — many of whom can’t even remember their native land — are more avidly American than 90 percent of the native born. They remind me of the way African-Americans were portrayed on TV and movies in the 60s and early 70s — say, Nobel laureates who were constitutional law professors before joining the Senate straight from his state legislature.

Oh wait, that was Barack Obama…before he was elected to two terms as our first black president. (Admittedly, the Nobel came after Obama was elected…and was awarded prematurely, mainly as a rebuke to his warmongering predecessor.)*

Dreamers: Popular with Everyone…Except the Haters

A recent Morning Consult/Politico poll showed that a plurality of Republicans — 46% — support allowing Dreamers legal residency with a path to citizenship. In an American National Election Studies survey conducted right before the election, even a majority of Trump supporters were in favor of DACA.

So which Trump supporters is this policy aimed at, pray tell?

As quoted in the NY Times, Trump cried crocodile tears for the Dreamers:

I have a great heart for the folks we’re talking about — a great love for them. And people think in terms of children, but they’re really young adults. I have a love for these people, and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly.

Remember, this is the man who said this about Mexican immigrants as he announced his bid for the presidency:

When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

This is the same putz who claimed a “so-called judge” who ruled against his travel ban couldn’t be objective because he was Mexican (actually, a US-born judge of Mexican-American heritage). And said the same of an Indiana-born, Mexican-American judge presiding over a Trump University class-action lawsuit.

If judges born in the US of Mexican heritage aren’t legitimate to Trump, then certainly Dreamers who are exemplary citizens wouldn’t have had a claim to the American Dream for him.

The GOP has long employed racist dog whistles, but those are far too subtle for the racist-in-chief. For Trump, nothing short of a bullhorn will do. The reason the party of Lincoln edged away from their standard-bearer over his Charlottesville comments and the Arpaio pardon wasn’t because they’re horrified by their standard-bearer’s racist pandering, but that the president did so blatantly.

Being inexperienced as a politician, Trump didn’t know enough to cover his prejudice in a candy coating of obfuscation. Melts in your mouth, not in your backhand.

Dreamers handed over their personal information on the promise that it wouldn’t be handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), painting a giant target on their backs now that the president has decided to phase out DACA. Yeah, I trust the Trump administration to honor that pledge.

Now, where did I put that bucket?

Imagine being forced from your home and sent to a place you don't even remember. Will the Dreamers' American dream turn into that nightmare?
Via Pixabay and Pixabay, public domain. Compiled by Stephanie Savage.

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