comscore Obama calls ending DACA program ‘cruel,’ ‘self-defeating’ | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Obama calls ending DACA program ‘cruel,’ ‘self-defeating’

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Former President Barack Obama spoke, April 24, at the University of Chicago in Chicago. Obama today said President Donald Trump’s decision to roll back ‘dreamers’ program is ‘cruel’ and ‘self-defeating.’

WASHINGTON >> Former President Barack Obama today called the Trump administration’s decision to repeal a program protecting young immigrants from deportation “cruel” and “self-defeating.” He urged Congress to pass a bill fixing the situation “with a sense of moral urgency.”

In a Facebook message, Obama said repealing the program casts a shadow over some of the nation’s best and brightest young people.

“To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong,” he wrote.

The former president’s statement came as President Donald Trump announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program will end in six months.

During his campaign, Trump slammed the program, saying shielding immigrants brought to the United States illegally when they were children from deportation was illegal “amnesty.” Trump and his supporters, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, have called it unconstitutional.

DACA has provided nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the U.S. in the form of two-year, renewable work permits.

The Obama administration created the DACA program in 2012 as a stopgap as they pushed unsuccessfully for a broader immigration overhaul in Congress. Many Republicans say they opposed the program on the grounds that it was executive overreach.

Legislation to legalize the so-called Dreamers has been lingering in Congress for years. Obama called anew on Congress to pass an immigration bill “with a sense of moral urgency that matches the urgency these young people feel.”

The former president added that deporting DACA recipients does not make sense, since “kicking them out won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes, or raise anybody’s wages.”

“It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love,” Obama said. “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?”

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature
Comments (0)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Scroll Up