Obama Slams Trump for Can­cel­ing DACA; Calls it ‘Cruel’ & ‘Self-De­feat­ing’

The Jewish Voice - - NATIONAL - By: David Rutz

For­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama ripped the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion's an­nounce­ment to can­cel his DACA ex­ec­u­tive ac­tion on Tues­day, writ­ing in a Face­book post that it was "cruel" and "self-de­feat­ing."

Obama had sig­naled that he would speak out if Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump went af­ter his 2012 ac­tion, which stands for De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals. It shielded 800,000 young il­le­gal im­mi­grants from de­por­ta­tion who were brought to the U.S. as chil­dren.

"To­day, that shadow has been cast over some of our best and bright­est young peo­ple once again," Obama wrote. "To tar­get these young peo­ple is wrong – be­cause they have done noth­ing wrong. It is ff-de­feat­ing – be­cause they want to start new busi­nesses, staff our labs, serve in our mil­i­tary, and other­wise con­trib­ute to the coun­try we love. And it is cruel. What if our kid’s sci­ence teacher, or our friendly neigh­bor turns out to be a Dreamer? Where are we sup­posed to send her? To a coun­try she doesn’t know or re­mem­ber, with a lan­guage she may not even speak?"

With­out ever specif­i­cally nam­ing Trump, Obama said the DACA can­cel­la­tion was a "po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion" and that it was wrong to "threaten the fu­ture" of young peo­ple who pose no threat.

"Ul­ti­mately, this is about ba­sic de­cency," he wrote. "This is about whether we are a peo­ple who kick hope­ful young strivers out of Amer­ica, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a peo­ple – and who we want to be."

Obama ex­plained his ex­ec­u­tive ac­tion by say­ing he asked Congress to pass a bill to pro­tect the "Dreamers" and no such bill ever came.

"And be­cause it made no sense to ex­pel tal­ented, driven, pa­tri­otic young peo­ple from the only coun­try they know solely be­cause of the ac­tions of their par­ents, my ad­min­is­tra­tion acted to lift the shadow of de­por­ta­tion from these young peo­ple, so that they could con­tinue to con­trib­ute to our com­mu­ni­ties and our coun­try," Obama wrote. "We did so based on the well-es­tab­lished le­gal prin­ci­ple of pros­e­cu­to­rial dis­cre­tion, de­ployed by Demo­cratic and Repub­li­can pres­i­dents alike, be­cause our im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment agen­cies have lim­ited re­sources, and it makes sense to fo­cus those re­sources on those who come il­le­gally to this coun­try to do us

harm."

Trump crit­i­cized Obama in a state­ment for by­pass­ing Congress, and the White House has called on Congress to pass leg­is­la­tion to re­place DACA within the next six months be­fore it be­gins to phase out. It is un­clear what the ad­min­is­tra­tion would do if Congress fails to pass a re­place­ment.

In his an­nounce­ment of the pro­gram's can­cel­la­tion, At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions called DACA an "un­con­sti­tu­tional ex­er­cise" of ex­ec­u­tive au­thor­ity by Obama and said the De­part­ment of Jus­tice could not de­fend such over­reach. Obama said the White House had "shifted its re­spon­si­bil­ity for these young peo­ple to Congress" and it was up to them to pro­tect Dreamers.

Obama had sig­naled that he would speak out if Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump went af­ter his 2012 ac­tion, which stands for De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals. It shielded 800,000 young il­le­gal im­mi­grants from de­por­ta­tion who were brought to the

U.S. as chil­dren.

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