Suffer the Children: Day of Reckoning for DACA

While the actual details have not yet been announced, the news media has been consistently reporting the White House position leaked to POLITICO over the Labor Day weekend that President Donald Trump has decided to punt the DACA issue to the Tea-Publican Congress. Trump has decided to end DACA, with 6-month delay:

President Donald Trump has decided to end the Obama-era program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children, according to two sources familiar with his thinking. Senior White House aides huddled Sunday afternoon to discuss the rollout of a decision likely to ignite a political firestorm — and fulfill one of the president’s core campaign promises.

Trump has wrestled for months with whether to do away with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA. But conversations with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who argued that Congress — rather than the executive branch — is responsible for writing immigration law, helped persuade the president to terminate the program and kick the issue to Congress, the two sources said.

In a nod to reservations held by many lawmakers, the White House plans to delay the enforcement of the president’s decision for six months, giving Congress a window to act, according to one White House official.

Riiight. A Democratic majority Congress could not pass the DREAM Act in 2010 because of a GOP Senate filibuster, joined by five “moderate” Democratic senators (Sens. Baucaus, Hagan, Nelson, Pryor and Tester) on a vote of 55-41 (four senators not voting). Of the three GOP senators who voted for the DREAM Act, Sens. Bennet, Lugar and Murkowski, only Murkowski is still in the Senate. The DREAM Act was passed by the Democratic controlled House.

Since that time, the GOP has become even more anti-immigrant, and in 2016 was taken over by the white nationalist Trump supporters of the alt-right, exemplified by former chief stategist to the Trump campaign, Stephen Bannon.

POLITICO reports today that Fight over Dreamers to test Bannon’s juice outside the White House:

That tension could manifest itself in a conflict between his former chief strategist, and other Trump campaign supporters and Republican leaders — a fight that mirrors another immigration battle that played out four years ago.

Bannon, who has reclaimed his post at the helm of Breitbart News and believes the fight over immigration propelled Trump to the presidency, has told associates he’s prepared to take on both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over immigration this fall.

* * *

What’s less clear is what will happen if Congress fails to act during the six-month window, and the issue comes back to Trump, potentially putting the president and Bannon at odds on a core issue.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

[A] senior White House aide said that if Republican lawmakers fail to agree on a plan, he didn’t expect Trump to follow through on terminating DACA — a prospect that would test Bannon’s commitment to support his former boss from the outside.

Before Trump emerged as a political force in his own right, Bannon and Sessions worked to kill the 2013 Gang of Eight bill on immigration reform — a fight they believe set the stage for Trump’s meteoric rise in 2016.

Stephen Miller — then a senior Sessions aide and now the president’s chief domestic policy aide — wrote the Trump campaign’s immigration plan promising the termination of DACA, and has played a pivotal role inside the White House in pushing Trump to roll back the provision.

Anyone in the media delusional enough to kid themselves into believing that this Tea-Publican Congress and the Trump White House are going to pass a version of the DREAM Act is engaging in pure fantasy and are misleading the public.

The only way this Congress could pass a version of the DREAM Act is if all Democrats stand unified and enough Tea-Publicans demonstrate the moral courage to part with their party’s anti-immigrant platform, and ensure they face a primary opponent from the white natioalist Trump suporters. Moral courage is in short supply in the GOP. It’s not going to happen.

This is the one issue that will bring President Barack Obama out of his silence during the Trump administration. Obama to speak out if Trump ends DACA: “Former President Barack Obama plans to speak out if President Donald Trump declares his intention to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, according to a person close to Obama.”

Unfortunately, Obama speaking out on DACA will likely only exacerbate Obama Derangement Syndrome exemplified by our “Dear Leader,” Donald Trump.

Nancy Le Tourneau at the Political Animal blog asks, Why End DACA Now?

One possible answer is that 10 state attorney generals, led by Ken Paxton of Texas, wrote a letter to Sessions in late June threatening a suit to kill DACA if the president didn’t take action to end it by today, September 5th. But it’s interesting to note what would happen if Trump decided not to respond. Sessions has already made it clear that DOJ would not defend DACA in court and it is very likely that Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, Neil Gorsuch, would have joined the other four conservative justices to end the program. That would have provided Republicans with the ability to say, “see, we told you, DACA was an unconstitutional reach by Obama.”

* * *

The reason all this is happening right now seems pretty clear. And it’s not because Donald Trump has been struggling with this decision. It is because Republicans want to use the Dreamers as a hostage to get something else they want in the budget negotiations. It isn’t clear yet what the ransom note will be. But there is no question about their intentions.

Kevin Drum posits that the Trump administration’s ransom will be funding for the border wall and suggests that this is simply the kind of horse-trading that happens during negotiations.

A lot of liberals are describing this as “hostage taking,” but I’m not sure that’s fair. That term is approporiate for things like threatening not to raise the debt ceiling, which would cause havoc, but not for fairly ordinary legislative maneuvering.

I respectfully disagree. “Ordinary legislative maneuvering” hasn’t usually involved taking protections away from people and then demanding something in return in order to give them back. Kevin is right that this wouldn’t cause the kind of global crisis that would come from failure to raise the debt ceiling. But that’s like suggesting that a kidnapper who only demands $1 million isn’t really a hostage taker compared to the one who demands $20 million. Does hostage taking merely depend on the level of havoc created by the ransom demand?

For the 800,000 Dreamers, these next 6 months will be havoc. Imagine what life will be like for them. By signing up for the program, they took the leap of coming out of the shadows and giving all of their personal information to the federal government—the same one that is now run by Trump and associates. We’ve all witnessed a Congress that can hardly pass a bill to name a post office. How would you feel about putting your future in their hands?

LeTourneau’s colleague at the Political Animal blog, David Atkins, is even harsher in his analysis. Trump Pulls Plug on DACA. Will He Survive the Consequences?

In the ninth month of his presidency, it seems clear that Donald Trump is motivated by little more than bigotry, narcissism, dominance posturing, and the desire to anger anyone with a sense of basic decency. Today’s reported decision to end the DACA program with only a six-month delay fits all of those criteria. But at what point does a policy of vindictive, malignant belligerence sow the seeds of its own destruction?

Trump’s DACA decision was not unexpected. As many observers (including yours truly) anticipated, Trump and his team decided to please his white supremacist base and the GOP governors and attorneys general who demanded this cruel policy rather than stand up to them. Protecting children and young adults who committed no crime beyond being brought to America at an early age by their parents is enormously popular, including among Republicans.

If Trump were a true populist, he would ride on a wave of public sentiment against his own party. But bigotry and white supremacy are core values of this administration, even if it means cratering further in public opinion. Angering liberals pleases Trump of its own accord, and watching the howls of righteous indignation from every left- and center-leaning group in the United States makes Trump and his petty, terrified supporters feel tough and powerful at the thought of armed white men deporting defenseless non-white children to a country they have never known.

But in true Trumpian fashion, the president still took a coward’s way out. Rather than simply end DACA outright or continue it outright, he is giving a six-month window to end it. This functionally means kicking the can to Congress, which will be forced to decide the issue of DACA’s renewal. This will not please Republicans in the House and Senate, most of whom know that the party’s post-Trump future with Hispanic voters depends on them distancing themselves from the barbaric cruelty of Trump and his red state attorneys general, but who also cannot afford to upset Trump’s white nationalist base. Congressional Republicans will also be dealing with a full scale revolt not just from the expected left-leaning advocacy groups and mass protests, but from corporate America as well. Just today Apple CEO Tim Cook made it clear that his company stands with the Dreamers. Expect most of the rest of corporate America to follow suit in the coming months.

But it’s even worse than that. Trump’s calculus is likely to use DACA kids as a hostage, a bargaining chip to hold against Congress in exchange for Trump’s other unpopular priorities including his border wall and tax cuts for the rich. This puts Republicans in Congress in a double bind: either support funding for a pointless and unpopular wall, or take the blame from the President and from Democrats for killing DACA.

Unless Democrats and Republicans can join together to form a veto-proof majority to enshrine protection for Dreamers into law, Trump will be able to dangle the threat of deporting 800,000 blameless people over the head of every member of Congress.

* * *

Trump may discover that political gravity does apply to him in the end. It’s impossible to predict exactly when it will happens, but disasters tend to occur very slowly–and then all at once. Trump cannot make the entire left-and-center of America believe it’s in an existential crisis of survival, make an enemy of most of corporate America, and infuriate the members of Congress even in his own party, and hope to survive. Not with all the scandals and investigations hanging over his head. Not with ever-declining approval ratings, increasingly large coalitions of powerful opponents, and and millions of angry marchers in the streets

At some point Republicans will decide he’s not worth the hassle and simply choose to be rid of him. The question is how much damage they’ll allow him to do both to the country and the Republican Party before they do what is necessary.

Matthew 19:14: But Jesus said, Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for to such belongeth the kingdom of heaven.

41 thoughts on “Suffer the Children: Day of Reckoning for DACA”

  1. What will you do if Trump gets a DACA bill passed, something Obama could not do even when the Dems controlled both houses of congress?
    How will you spin it?

  2. Eric Schneiderman‏Verified account @AGSchneiderman 2h2 hours ago

    My message to DREAMers: keep up the fight. We’ll sue President Trump to preserve DACA, because you are here to stay. #DefendDACA

  3. Jeff Flake‏Verified account @JeffFlake 8h8 hours ago

    Congress must act immediately to pass permanent, stand-alone legislation to lawfully ensure that children who were brought here… 4/5

    Jeff Flake‏Verified account @JeffFlake 8h8 hours ago

    …by their parents, through no fault of their own, are able to stay and finish their education and continue to contribute to society. 5/5

  4. Source: Facebook

    Raul M. Grijalva — US Representative for Arizona District 3
    2 hrs ·
    This spiteful, cruel, disgraceful limbo we’ve put DACA recipients in and the future of this country is something that we must all as Members of Congress, as community, as advocates and decent law-abiding Americans pressure Congress into doing the right thing. We must protect in a permanent way DACA recipients now and those in the future. #ProtectDreamers

  5. Sep 05 2017

    Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) released the following statement today on President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

    “President Trump’s decision to eliminate DACA is the wrong approach to immigration policy at a time when both sides of the aisle need to come together to reform our broken immigration system and secure the border.

    “I strongly believe that children who were illegally brought into this country through no fault of their own should not be forced to return to a country they do not know. The 800,000 innocent young people granted deferred action under DACA over the last several years are pursuing degrees, starting careers, and contributing to our communities in important ways. While I disagreed with President Obama’s unilateral action on this issue, I believe that rescinding DACA at this time is an unacceptable reversal of the promises and opportunities that have been conferred to these individuals.

    “The federal government has a responsibility to defend and secure our borders, but we must do so in a way that upholds all that is decent and exceptional about our nation. I will be working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to devise and pass comprehensive immigration reform, which will include the DREAM Act.”

  6. Bernie Sanders‏Verified account @SenSanders 1h1 hour ago

    Trump’s decision on DACA is the ugliest and most cruel decision ever made by a president of the U.S. in the modern history of this country.

    • “Trump’s decision on DACA is the ugliest and most cruel decision ever made by a president of the U.S. in the modern history of this country.”

      I disagree. I think the decision by FDR to round up Americans of Japanese ancestory and put them in internment camps at the start of World War Two was more cruel.

        • “Perhaps that’s why he said “modern history”.”

          I am surprised you don’t think of World War Two as “modern history”. So much of what we live with today traces it’s roots back that specific time frame that I can’t help but think of it as modern history. And if the author was limting himself to what you imply is modern history then he is only judging, what, 6 or 7 Presidents? That is a rather low ratio to draw his comparisons from, don’t you think? That is sort of like he is trying to force his facts to match his already drawn conclusion. That is not a very honest way to make comparisons.

          Oh. I would have to also mention that Truman’s decision to drop the atom bombs on Japan could be construed as a more cruel decision, as well. While I think it was the correct thing to do, it DID result in the immediate deaths of tens of thousands of human beings, and the eventual deaths of hundreds of thousands more.

          Or we could include FDRs decisions to fire bomb Tokyo, Cologne, and Dresden during the War which resulted in the immediate death of hundreds of thousands of Japanese and Germans.

          Presidents often have to make hard decisions that are not popular. That is why they are there.

    • “Since when does the Unity States punish children for the sins of their parents?”

      We don’t. We punish them for their own sins. In case it hasn’t occurred to you, these children are here just as illegally as their parents. That is why they are called illegal immigrants.

  7. More from the idiot-in-chief…

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 36m36 minutes ago

    I look forward to working w/ D’s + R’s in Congress to address immigration reform in a way that puts hardworking citizens of our country 1st.

  8. Shaun King‏Verified account @ShaunKing 2h2 hours ago

    Gross to hear Sessions repeatedly speak of “illegal aliens.”

    Everything about this is cruel and dehumanizing.

  9. Vanita Gupta‏Verified account @vanitaguptaCR 46m46 minutes ago

    Sessions’ stmt abt DACA was full of falsehoods & an effort to disguise nativist agenda in legal terms. DACA is legal, successful for 5 yrs.

  10. Richard Blumenthal‏Verified account @SenBlumenthal 57m57 minutes ago

    AG Sessions shamefully prejudges courts in declaring #DACA illegal. Wrong on the law, wrong to duck his DOJ duty.

    • “DACA is legal, successful for 5 yrs.”

      DACA was NOT legal. It was an Executive Order issued in direct contravention of the law. It was being challenged and the case was moving through the Courts and there is little doubt he Supreme Court would have rejected it when it got to them.

      • Being challenged in the courts is not tantamount to being illegal. (Today’s post by AZBM addresses this right wing talking point).

        • “Being challenged in the courts is not tantamount to being illegal.”

          You are correct, Liza, being challenged does not make it illegal. It was illegal because it was an Executive Order issued in direct conflict with a law. No President has ever had the power to contravene a law properly pased by Congress. Obama overstepped his authority in a gamble to see if he could get away with it. Despite AzBM’s enthusiasm, that is a fatal flaw that doomed the Program and the Supreme Court was most likely going to shoot it down when it got there. Trump simply speeded the process up by doing something he is legally authorized to do: To rescind Executive Orders.

  11. chauncey devega‏ @chaunceydevega 16m16 minutes ago

    A white supremacist Attorney General who works for a lawless president who obstructs justice lectures on “rule of law”. Priceless. #DACA

  12. Bill de Blasio‏Verified account @NYCMayor 2h2 hours ago

    We warned you not to threaten our neighbors, @realDonaldTrump. New York City will fight to defend our Dreamers.

  13. Charles M. Blow‏Verified account @CharlesMBlow 2h2 hours ago

    Donald Trump is saying in every way possible that power in America is white, straight and male and all else are targets. #DACA

  14. SPLC Statement on President Trump’s Decision to Rescind DACA
    September 05, 2017
    Richard Cohen, President

    After equating neo-Nazis with anti-racist protesters and pardoning Joe Arpaio, we didn’t need any more proof of the malignant bigotry at the heart of President Trump’s agenda.

    But he’s provided it anyway, by ending the DACA program. This is one of the most senseless, heartless, inhumane acts of any president in recent memory.

    Many, perhaps most, of these young people know no other home. They’re Americans. Now, to appease his white nationalist supporters, he wants to throw them out of their country. Trump’s cruelty knows no bounds.

    • And why did Jeff Bull-Connor-Wannabe Sessions make the announcement? Why didn’t President Phat Phuck do it himself?

    • Phat Phuck tweeted this but apparently nothing else on #DACA:

      Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 6h6 hours ago

      Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!

      • I love a righteous Liza Storm! 🙂

        Now we need to force congress to do the right thing.

        Religious leaders, CEO’s, Dems and even most of the GOP, and well, everyone except the Tiki Torch Nazi crowd is against ending DACA.

          • You can read President Obama’s Facebook post on today’s announcement here.


            Without logging into FB, for those of us who don’t use it.

            This is how Presidents used to speak before we elected the Pussy Grabber.

            “Ultimately, this is about basic decency. 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.

            What makes us American is not a question of what we look like, or where our names come from, or the way we pray. What makes us American is our fidelity to a set of ideals – that all of us are created equal; that all of us deserve the chance to make of our lives what we will; that all of us share an obligation to stand up, speak out, and secure our most cherished values for the next generation. That’s how America has traveled this far. That’s how, if we keep at it, we will ultimately reach that more perfect union.”

  15. It’s like the GOP is writing the 2018 campaign ads for the Dems.

    There are 800,000 American kids, 95% of them have jobs, none of them are eligible for welfare, but they do pay taxes and pay into Social Security, which helps everyone.

    Plus we paid to educate them, now the racists in the GOP are going to export that money out of the country.

    This is going to be remembered as a black mark on America. Most of the country does not support this, and it’s a cowardly act to hide behind “rule of law” when the law is wrong and harmful.

    GOP leaders are predicting this will cost them in the 2018 and 2020 elections, I hope so, they deserve everything they get.

    • “…and it’s a cowardly act to hide behind “rule of law” when the law is wrong and harmful.”

      That’s a great idea, Tom! Let’s just ignore the laws we think are wrong and harmful. How about Roe vs. Wade? I could list a dozen similar laws off the top of my head, but I think that is sufficient to make my point. What constitutes “wrong and harmful” is in the eye of the beholder. I would certainly not want YOU deciding which laws meet that criteria and I doubt you would want ME deciding, either.

      “Most of the country does not support this…”

      What you mean is most of the people you know and agree with do not support this. There are a large number of people that do support it. You seem to forget that you live in an echo chamber and filter out dischordant ideas.

      • steve rosa parks broke the law too. would you demand the police arrest her too if you had been on that bus?

  16. It was just announced that, as expected, DACA is dead in the next six months. That is as it should be. Obama should never have issued that Executive Order in the first place. What that Order meant was that a President saw a LAW he did not like so he simply ignored it and wrote an Executive Order circumventing it. Trump has now thrown the ball back where it should be…the Congress. Congress writes the Laws; the Executive Branch enforces them.

    “It is because Republicans want to use the Dreamers as a hostage to get something else they want in the budget negotiations.”

    If that is true, then it means the GOP is learning from the democrats how to play hardball when it comes to negotiating. Personally, I don’t think the GOP is that organized. Here in these pages, the consensus on the GOP is varied from them being political masterminds to them being clumsy buffoons. I tend to lean toward the clumsy buffoon side as I never cease to be amazed at the GOPs ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    “For the 800,000 Dreamers, these next 6 months will be havoc. Imagine what life will be like for them.”

    It will be scary, indeed. From this they will learn a very valuable lesson about government. As brought up here:

    “By signing up for the program, they took the leap of coming out of the shadows and giving all of their personal information to the federal government—the same one that is now run by Trump and associates.”

    It is ALWAYS a mistake to give the government too much information about yourself. Inevitably, it will come back and bite you regardless of whatever assurances may be made to the contrary. In this context of Dreamers, perhaps you gun control nuts can better understand why we 2nd Amendment fanatics want NOTHING to do with any sort of registration whatsoever. Without fail, such registration records woll be used for confiscation.

    “We’ve all witnessed a Congress that can hardly pass a bill to name a post office. How would you feel about putting your future in their hands?”

    The left constantly harps about placing our faith in the government for our futures, our healthcare, our education, care of our children, etc. I have to assume leftists trust the government much more than the Dreamers issue would indicate.

    “Matthew 19:14: But Jesus said, Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for to such belongeth the kingdom of heaven.”

    Unless, of course, they have been aborted…then they are either saleable research material or garbage.

    It is always pitiful and sad to see a leftist quoting scripture. Given that they usually ignore the hell out of most of it and resort to quoting it only when it is convenient.

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