By State Representative, Leon D. Young
There is currently so much chaos surrounding the Trump administration that it was difficult to identify just one topic, or issue, for this week’s column. Understandably, Trump’s continuing Tweets and saber-rattling aimed at Kim Jongun and North Korea have garnered considerable media attention. Unfortunately for the nation, Trump still finds time to create yet another firestorm – the latest example being his decision to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Since attacking DACA on the campaign trail, Donald Trump has pledged to keep the program alive, calling recipients, also known as Dreamers, “absolutely incredible kids” who deserve compassion. But in recent days, several key players in his administration have advised Trump to wind down the program, and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has informed him he considers it unconstitutional and cannot defend it in court.
Trump has been pondering – and publicly agonizing over – what to do about the program since he took office. But discussions about it inside the White House took on a new sense of urgency after a group of conservative attorney generals threatened to sue the Trump administration in federal court unless it begins to dismantle the program by Sept. 5.
The Justice Department would be responsible for defending DACA, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a fierce opponent of the program, at a press conference earlier this week, indicated that DACA will be rescinded. In his statement to the press, Sessions made several outlandish assertions. “We cannot admit everyone who wants to come here, it’s just that simple,” Sessions said. He criticized the DACA policy as “executive amnesty” and an “overreach.” The attorney general then went on to allege that the program contributed to the child migrant crisis on the Mexican border, and accused recipients of DACA of stealing American jobs.
Trump would like for us to believe that he had no choice in rescinding the DACA program, considering potential lawsuits. But, in truth, Trump’s decision was motivated solely by politics, and his need to curry favor with his base in making good on a campaign promise. Not to mention that the fact that Trump loves to flatter himself about his great ability to advance a deal. But rather than showing some real executive leadership in this instance, he takes the easy way out and pushes this hot button issue into Congress’s court.
Now 800,000 dreamers are left to ponder their fate. While, Donald Trump has once again reinforced the narrative that he’s clueless.