Thinly Veiled Racism
Trump decided to end DACA on Tuesday with a promise to keep the program in place for six months. The delay will allow for Congress to (hopefully) enact legislation that stays deportations and gives former DACA recipients a path to citizenship. The issue is still tense – on Tuesday Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a remarkably condescending speech calling the DACA program unconstitutional. In the speech, he suggests that DACA recipients will be taught the rule of law and states that by ending the program he is serving the best interests of all American citizens, “lawful immigrant and native born alike.” Here’s the problem with this: DACA recipients are in the United States lawfully, although they do not have legal status. There has been no ruling that DACA was implemented unconstitutionally. Nativist arguments have been used to justify racism throughout our country’s history. Instead of offering solutions to our immigration dilemma, Sessions spins various lies in order to justify yet another attack on people of color.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) disagreed with Jeff Sessions Wednesday morning, calling DACA recipients “a part of our country.” Graham is working with other Senators on a bipartisan Dream Act (the original of which was stalled by Congress years ago) and stated in his interview that Congress should allow DACA recipients not only legal status but also a path to citizenship. What seemed to be compassion, however, was revealed to be a quest for political victory – Graham argued that President Trump was correct to end DACA because the program was “on track to be ruled unconstitutional.” The assertion that DACA is unconstitutional is, once again, incorrect. If President Trump and our Republican legislators truly respected the lives of our DACA recipients, DACA would be kept in place. A solution would be proposed and passed through Congress without destroying the lives of our fellow students, our coworkers, neighbors, and friends.
The potential Dream Act will be pushed through alongside funding for border security, leaving a window wide open for Trump to demand that Congress fund his promised border wall. We have an administration needlessly demolishing the lives of immigrants for the sake of a racist agenda.