Donald Trump has decided to effectively end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the program that enabled the children of undocumented immigrants who had been brought here when they were young to study and work without fear of deportation
Donald Trump thrust the fate of nearly 800,000 young, undocumented migrants into uncertainty on Tuesday by terminating the Obama-era program that protects the so-called Dreamers from deportation.
The 2012 policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) will be phased out by 5 March 2018, leaving Congress with six months to enact new protections for Dreamers through legislation.
New applications will no longer be accepted, while those currently in the program will all lose their status by March 2020, with the first permits expiring in March 2018 – unless Congress passes legislation allowing the young immigrants to stay.
This move highlights key things about Trump. One is that he is a blowhard and a political coward. He knows that ending DACA is unpopular and is opposed by even some members of his own party and business leaders and so he asked his attorney general Jeff Sessions to announce the new policy, just like he asks others to fire people in his administration.
The second is that he tried to deflect responsibility by punting to Congress that, if they want to preserve the program, it is up to them to pass legislation. Whether he will veto such a move remains to be seen.
The third and most important is that he knows that he has no major achievements to show for his nearly eight months in office and the natives are getting restless. He knows that he can keep his rabid supporters enthusiastic by throwing them the occasional racist bone, and this latest move will keep them quiet for a while. But how many more anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-people of color, anti-transgender, anti-gay bones does he still have left in his basket?