It didn’t take long for former President Barack Obama to weigh in on Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals program. The current president and aspiring long-haul trucker may have let Attorney General Jeff Sessions do the dubious honors at a White House press conference earlier today, but he’s the racist traffic cone who was talking tough about forcing Congress’ hand by rescinding DACA this morning.
Now, the tweeter in chief has said that he’s not looking to punish the Dreamers—some of whom are as old as 35 now, and may have arrived at the age of six—for the “sins” of their parents (which are, in some cases, mere civil violations for overstaying visas). But in a lengthy post on Facebook, Obama calls the move a “political decision,” one that hinges on a “moral question”—how can the GOP boot these teens and young adults, exceptional and otherwise, from the only home they’ve ever known?
The former president also makes it very clear that deporting the Dreamers “won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes, or raise anybody’s wages,” which is what Trump and other race baiters have implied it will accomplish. Calling the decision “cruel” and “self-defeating,” Obama writes that supporting American ideals speaks more to citizenship than an accident of birth.
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.
Obama’s statement is now lighting up comment and switchboards everywhere, because it’s a direct critique of Trump’s governance, what with its references to “basic decency,” a concept the demagogue in the White House understands about as well as “charity.” Despite always having been more of a stopgap measure, DACA managed to do the kind of vetting Trump and his race-baiting cronies always propose for immigrants and refugees, which you’d think would go over well. Instead, the GOP is reportedly hoping to “negotiate” a down payment for Trump’s border wall in exchange for codifying DACA.