Obama’s statement about Trump’s ending the DACA “dreamers” policy

You know by now that “President” Trump is doing away with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy initiated five years ago by President Obama. (Trump did delay his action for six months to allow Congress to intervene.)

Obama’s policy deferred the deportation of illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children and afforded them a way to become legal residents. I think that’s only fair. While I don’t favor open borders and no enforcement of immigration law, as some liberals seem to do, DACA children were brought here by their parents and, with many growing up in the American culture—the only culture they know—it’s draconian to boot them out. It’s also mean-spirited and life-wrecking, something that only a fascist bully without feelings would do. Well, we elected one.

By and large, Obama has avoided pronouncing on government policy since he left office. But he couldn’t restrain himself when he saw DACA being dismantled, and wrote the following in one of his rare Facebook postings.

Now that was a president!

h/t: Casey

49 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I wish we could have him back as president.

    • darrelle
      Posted September 6, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      +1

    • Posted September 6, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Yes, two more terms, please?

      • eric
        Posted September 6, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

        I’d vote for him in 2020.

        • rickflick
          Posted September 6, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

          The 22nd amendment to the constitution prohibits a president running for a 3rd time.
          Unfortunately, he’s probably the best qualified person on the planet for the job. Not too many dems I can think of would be a really exciting pick if you ask me.

          • eric
            Posted September 7, 2017 at 6:13 am | Permalink

            Ah you’re right. I thought it was two terms consecutively but a brief googling shows it’s two terms total. 😦

    • prinzler
      Posted September 6, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      “That’s not a President. *That’s* a President.”

      h/t to Crocodile Dundee

  2. Geoff Toscano
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Obama truly stands for common decency.

    The irony is that Trump’s evangelical supporters will be hailing this action as an important step in the fight against illegal immigrants (for the record ‘bullshit) whilst arguing that liberals lack morality.

    • Posted September 6, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      I fall to see the irony. Gawd was all about exclusion… 😉

  3. Nicholas K.
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Sessions statement announcing the end of DACA was another sickening nod (no winks necessary) to white supremacists throughout the country. Trump is supposedly “conflicted” about this decision. Yet, somehow all his policies seem to be aimed at Nazi fanboys. They are the only constituency that he seems to really care about.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted September 6, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      I know one should not make ad hominem comments, especially based on the way people speak; but there was a clip on the BBC news of Sessions announcing this policy, and the way it came out in his Southern drawl was fairly flesh-creeping.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 6, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Sessions is a character straight outta Faulkner, the half-smart Snopes-family scion who left Yoknapatawpha county, crossed the Mississippi state line to matriculate at ‘Bama law school, and made his fortune in politics.

      • rickflick
        Posted September 6, 2017 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        Just as a reminder, one should not make ad hominem comments involving someones height, or resemblance to mythical characters, either.

        ‎5ft 4in (163 cm)

  4. somer
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    +1

  5. DW
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    DACA is terrible policy. The president should not be deciding which laws to enforce. DACA should have gone through congress. We need to end the imperial presidency.

    • Nicholas K.
      Posted September 6, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Obama issued the EO on DACA in response to the continued failure of Congress to do something about immigration. The policy was created after acknowledgment that the DACA targets had been largely raised in the United States, and was seen as a way to remove immigration enforcement attention from “low priority” individuals with good behavior.

      • scottoest
        Posted September 9, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        I suppose it comes down to whether you view inaction from Congress as a good enough reason for the President to claim expanded Executive branch powers in an attempt to do *something* – even if you agree with what that something is.

    • ploubere
      Posted September 6, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Obama tried to get congress to act, and they refused. It is well within presidential authority to enact such a policy. It has always been the executive branch’s discretion on how to implement laws.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted September 6, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Any responsible and decent president would have proposed legislation to fix DACA. Instead, Trump being Trump, dumped a big steaming pile of shit on Congress, and washed his hands of the mess (betraying repeated promises to fix it) while appeasing his die-hard base. Brilliant in a Trumpish kind of way.

    • KD33
      Posted September 6, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      “DACA is terrible policy.” Can you please explain why, in light of Obama’s explanation of why it is both a decent and essential policy, good for the nation?

      “The president should not be deciding which laws to enforce.” He doesn’t and hasn’t (Obama or Trump). This about what policies are enacted.

      “DACA should have gone through congress.” I think we all agree on this, Obama included (that is the main point of his statement). But congress didn’t do anything despite years of prodding.

      “We need to end the imperial presidency.” I assume you mean Trump here. As Obama explained, and numerous constitutional lawyers and historians have pointed out, Obama was well within norms in establishing the DACA policy.

      Not sure if there’s anything left …

      • DW
        Posted September 6, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        DACA is terrible policy BECAUSE the president should not be deciding which laws to enforce and which to ignore.

        You can’t have a government official who says “Well, I can’t get the law changed through normal means, so I’m just going to declare the law to be whatever I want.” There’s a word for that.

        Yes, you can line up a bunch of people who will say any policy the president wants is just fine. Hell, Bush got people to tell him torturing prisoners was fine.

        The idea of the Imperial Presidency goes back a long ways. Dick Cheney was a huge proponent. It was evident way back when Nixon said “if the President does it, that means that it is not illegal”. Bush and Obama both took great advantage of congress’s refusal to reign in executive power. Suddenly, now that Trump is doing the same, everyone’s crying uncle.

        • Posted September 6, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          Actually, Obama signed fewer EOs than any President in decades and Bush wasn’t that far ahead of him.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted September 6, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Apparently you have not heard of executive orders. And say, if Obama was wrong to do it how is it that Trump is able to undo it. Who died and made you the Supreme Court anyway?

      • DW
        Posted September 6, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Executive Orders cannot override Congressional Law. Have you ever looked at the constitution?

        • Randy schenck
          Posted September 6, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

          Where is your congressional law that says Obama’s order on this was unconstitutional? You have none. If it was there, why has the thing been in place for 5 years. If the constitutionality was in question why has nothing been done for 5 years? Like I said before, who made you the judge?

          • mordacious1
            Posted September 7, 2017 at 2:11 am | Permalink

            I have to agree with DW here. Obama issued a series of EO’s which implemented DACA and DAPA. Several states sued over DAPA and Obama lost in the 5th Circuit, which ruled that DAPA violated the Guarantee and Take Care Clauses of the Constitution. SCOTUS refused to hear the case. DACA has stood for this long because no one wanted to be the bad guy with children involved. But it is unconstitutional for the same reasons as DAPA.

        • Posted September 6, 2017 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

          Are all Executive Orders by the POTUS illegal in your opinion?

        • Randy schenck
          Posted September 6, 2017 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

          Here is another item that might make you think twice. Trump is where Trump is and that is, he is announcing the end of DACA. I say good luck with that because the people do not like it or want it. And today, we have 15 State Attorney Generals that are taking Trump to court for attempting to do this repeal. You may not like that either but these guys have a pretty good record. They previously knocked hell out of his immigration plans and now they are going after him under the laws of discrimination because that is exactly what it is.

          • eric
            Posted September 7, 2017 at 6:24 am | Permalink

            I think DACA is on much more rocky grounds than his Muslim ban – they’re both EOs, so in fact they’re more analogous to each other than legal opposites.

            I think at this point we have to hope that some GOPers will see (a) complete legislative gridlock as bad for their re-election chances in 2018 while (b)passing popular legislation may help their chances. Trump has somewhat signaled that he’d sign something like it, so unlike many other issues GOPers in Congress wouldn’t have the threat of Trump attacking them on this issue. The legislative option is IMO the best chance (though not a very good one) something like DACA survives.

            Of course the other possibility is that 2018 hits, the Dems gain control of Congress, and they do something about it. Very unlikely but
            it’s another hypothetical route back to a DACA-like policy.

    • Posted September 6, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      “The president should not be deciding which laws to enforce.”

      Actually, this is done at every level. Cops decide, prosecutors decide, Grand Juries decide, DAs decide, state Attorneys General decide, the US AG decides, the president decides.

      Limited resources and conflicting priorities.

      • DW
        Posted September 6, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        OK, so you think it would be completely legal for Trump to decide not to enforce white collar crimes like tax evasion?

        • Posted September 6, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          Whoof, missed the point.

          Depends entirely on the details of the case.

          • Posted September 6, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

            As I don’t live in the US, take this for what it’s worth or ignore.
            But in this case, one congressional order is unsympathetic and inhumane the other compassionate and caring.
            It’s the content, not whose right to do what imho.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 6, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

          That’s a pretty poor example to pick. Do you think every American who engages in tax evasion gets prosecuted? That’s an area committed to sound executive-branch discretion.

          Under longstanding practice (or at least practice post-dating Richard Nixon), such prosecutorial discretion is exercised not by the president personally, but by the IRS and Treasury Dept. (in the first instance) and by the Justice Dept. and local US Attorneys’ offices (in the second). This is the long-standing practice that Trump abused by attempting to get then-FBI director Comey to drop the Mike Flynn investigation.

          • eric
            Posted September 7, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

            Even without DACA, DHS/ICE has that same discretion on who to prosecute.

            In some ways this comes down to a poverty/privilege disparity. ICE agents likely see little reputation or employment risk in going after immigrant kids, because there’s nothing those kids can meaningfully do them to hurt their careers. Prosecutors think twice about going after – and cut deals with – wealthy white collar criminals because they can bring big legal guns to the table and thus pose a significant risk of hurting that prosecutors’ win-loss record.

            So it’s not so much a case that the leeway to enforce the law is different in principle, it’s that the people being subjected to the law in the two situations have more or less ways of fighting back/defending themselves in practice. The brow kid violators get treated harshly while the old rich white folk violators get treated with kid gloves.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 6, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      While you may quibble about Obama having made policy without legislation, it’s clear to me that the majority in congress, probably even within the GOP, favor this policy and would likely have passed it as legislation except for the bizarre politics surrounding it. The GOP caters to and depends on the conservative extremists to win elections. Thus, they can’t vote their conscience on any issue without risking election defeat in their home districts and states. So, the policy itself is actually fairly mainstream, not terrible.

      • DW
        Posted September 6, 2017 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        It’s not a quibble. It’s the line between democracy and dictatorship. You’re letting it go because DACA is something you want. What if it’s Trump deciding he won’t bother enforcing the laws around Tax Evasion?

        • rickflick
          Posted September 6, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          Picky, picky…

          I hope you were as upset when Trump signed all kinds of executive orders including his woeful immigration ban. At least Obama’s actions were widely supported, whereas Trump is attending to a conservative minority. I’d only make the point that our legislative branch is quite often completely hamstrung by political issues and cannot govern properly. The way we have begun to deal with it in recent decades is to give the president more leeway. It is not perfect and involves some risk, as you point out, but total gridlock is the only alternative. Now, the risk is mitigated by the fact that if the president does something congress really can’t tolerate, they have the option of passing legislation to deal with it any way they choose. So a presidents orders are likely to stick if they are widely supported overtly or covertly. If not, they can easily be reversed by congress.
          I didn’t mention the courts as a check on presidential overreach. They are also part of the mix.

        • Pali
          Posted September 6, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          If Trump can make a convincing case that not prosecuting tax evasion provides a significant humanitarian and fiscal benefit to the country as a whole, then I’ll support him on it.

  6. ploubere
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Sessions and other Republicans, including Marsha Blackburn, have made several false claims about DACA being harmful to the U.S. In fact, it’s beneficial for the country. Here’s a good summary:
    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/9/5/16255436/lies-jeff-sessions-daca

  7. Posted September 6, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    The words of someone worthy of the office.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Trump tweeted last night that he will “revisit” DACA if congress has not acted within the six-month window. Like so much of Trump’s policy, this is absolutely incoherent, given that Attorney General Sessions staked out the administration’s position yesterday that unilateral imposition of DACA by the president is unconstitutional and a derogation of the rule of law. Shame of it is, Trump is too pig-ignorant of policy to appreciate his own incoherence.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted September 6, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      May I say, on behalf of pigs….

    • eric
      Posted September 7, 2017 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      I don’t think Sessions’ public statement would prevent Trump from saying or deciding the exact opposite later on.

      But I also think the chance Trump will remember this issue and be consistent in his defense of it 6 months from now is pretty low.

      IMO the only way this administration moves on the issue is if Trump feels a sense of personal embarrassment or ‘loser-ness’ over it. Associate the deportation of MIT grads and veteran soldiers with being a loser, and he’ll stop the deportation by telling ICE to not pursue such cases.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 7, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        Yeah, I don’t think Trump gives a damn about the Dreamer kids. I don’t think he even gives a damn about immigration policy — other than that being tough on immigration became his brand during the campaign. If he decides to help the Dreamers, it’ll be for fear that heart-wrenching stories of admirable youngsters being deported will make him look like Scrooge or Snidely Whiplash and thereby hurt his brand.

        Trump’s concerns are just that shallow and obvious.

  9. Posted September 6, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    For once, the “Helen Lovejoy” contingent is correct, IMO: thinking of the children is precisely one of the most important topics when dealing with immigration policy, particularly in countries (like the US) which have birthright citizenship.

  10. Randy schenck
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Trump is not so stupid to know this is going to hurt him further with the majority who still vote. He has to do it because he promised the idiots who follow him that he would. That is why he sent the puppet Attorney General and certified racist up there to make the speech. Now we get to see how many white nationalist are in our congress. I say that quite easily because they are the only types who would kick these people out. Trump wants to see if he can get money for his wall if he agrees not to kick them out.

  11. Posted September 6, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Can we all at least agree that Trump publicly stating that he want to limit his powers, and the president should not write immigration law is a good thing?

  12. Filippo
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m all for DACA youngsters. And for their parents. Why should parents be separated from child? The benefit of the doubt should unhesitatingly be given.

    Too bad Reagan is not president. Shall we have another amnesty-of-sorts? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Reform_and_Control_Act_of_1986

    When this act was enacted, I thought, “Well, we can all start with pretty much a clean slate. All immigrants will surely apply to immigrate following proper legal procedure.” But not all immigrants did, did they?

    Shall there be repeated amnesties into the indefinite future? Shall we have open borders for freely-flowing (cheap-er labor) a la the European Union? (Seems we should, since the U.S. pressed the UK to remain in the Union. Maybe the U.S. should join the European Union and let the immigrant labor cross the Atlantic as it may.)

    Do those who immigrate “undocumented” (to use the more politically-correct locution) consider those immigrants who follow legal procedure chumps? As a matter of principle, why shouldn’t all immigrants follow the law (which of course includes provisions for those seeking political/humanitarian asylum, etc.)? Is it that they can’t be troubled to abide the inconvenience? Shall any U.S. citizen seeking to emigrate to another country(and surely there are at least a few) flout its immigration law?

    Obama: “They often have no idea that they are undocumented until they apply for a job, or college, or a driver’s license.”

    I sympathize with this statement, and as I’ve already said, with these youngsters. But why would the parents not give their children a head’s-up on their status prior to their children attempting to accomplish these goals?

    I notice in the NY Times today that business types disagree with Trump’s position on DACA, citing concerns about causing harm to the economy. (By that they really mean maximizing profit and investor return.) May one hope to ever hear business types support something like DACA because it is the ethically right thing to do, and that that alone is sufficient reason? If DACA somehow harmed the economy would they be against it?


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