When Trump tasked his attorney general, racist Jeff Sessions, to announce to Dreamers that if Congress does not develop a replacement for the DACA program within six months they would be deported, he was treading a fine line. Of course he was sending a message to Trump’s white nativist supporters that he was taking another step to “make America white,” but he also pretended Trump was heeding advice from prominent Republican leaders. It was less than a week ago that several Republicans joined the business sector in appealing to Trump to either leave DACA in place or allow congressional Republicans to come up with a “humanitarian” solution to allow the Dreamers to remain in “their home country.”
However, if one listened to Jeff Sessions, Trump’s intent is clear; there is no solution that doesn’t include deporting about 800,000 undocumented immigrants who ended up in America through no fault of their own. Trump has to conform to his angry base’s insistence that nothing less than mass deportations will please them.
That point was made crystal clear by a self-confessed “anti-Latino” Republican, Steve King (R-IA). King was livid at the thought of Trump delaying an end to DACA and he “tweeted” an opinion embraced by Trump and his nativist devotees. King tweeted:
“Ending DACA now gives chance [to] restore Rule of Law. Delaying so [Republican] Leadership can push Amnesty is Republican suicide.”
First, it is unlikely the Republican leadership will find support to “fix DACA” because the extremist House Freedom Caucus (teabaggers) that Steve King is a member of are vehemently opposed to immigrants, documented or not. They are the alt-right.
Second, and more importantly, Sessions comments confirm that the administration is not concerned about a “humanitarian fix” based on a couple of lies typical of Trump and far-right xenophobes about the danger of Hispanic immigrants.
Sessions lied and said:
“The effect of this unilateral executive amnesty, among other things, contributed to a surge of unaccompanied minors on the southern (sic) border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences. It also denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens.”
A pathological liar like his boss Trump, Sessions’ claim that DACA “contributed to a surge of unaccompanied minors on the southern border” is patently false According to the Koch brothers’ Cato Institute. Sessions was parroting a tired and overused assertion touted by far-right xenophobes that immigrants pose a “terrible humanitarian consequences” to white people. However, according to a study published in a peer-reviewed academic journal, International Migration, any surge in unaccompanied minors actually began in 2008: President Obama’s executive action creating DACA was four-and-a-half years later, in June 2012.
There are quite a few reasons for the influx in unaccompanied minors from Latin American nations, but they had nothing to do with Barack Obama’s DACA program; a fact even a memory challenged idiot like Sessions knows to be a natural fact.
In the waning days of the 2008, one of the final pieces of legislation that passed both Houses of Congress without controversy and signed into law by President George W. Bush, was the “Willian Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. It was named after a 19th Century British abolitionist and touted by George W. Bush as “very effecting in stopping human trafficking.” And it is noteworthy that not only was the legislation not controversial, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said “This is a piece of legislation we’re very proud to sign.”
As further proof that DACA had nothing to do with a “surge in unaccompanied minors,” any undocumented children who arrived in America after DACA’s implementation did not qualify for the program. According to President Obama’s executive order:
“Only those individuals who have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 and were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 are eligible to receive DACA status.”
Sessions was also lying when he repeated a favorite nativist “false narrative” that DACA has “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans” by allowing those same jobs to go to undocumented immigrant children. The line is a favorite of anti-immigration crusaders who claim that besides bringing drugs, diseases, and death to white Americans, immigrant children have been sneaking across the Southern border specifically to participate in the DACA program with the express purpose of “stealing Americans’ jobs.”
Like nearly everything Republicans, and particularly Trump Republicans claim; there is no real evidence that DACA recipients have taken any jobs from any Americans, much less “hundreds of thousands” of them.
However, there is overwhelming evidence that “killing DACA will do significant damage to America’s economy.” It is why the business sector warned Trump against rescinding DACA; a fact that Sessions knows to be true but he “conveniently omitted” that fact from his announcement.
According to research conducted by the Center for American Progress, when the DACA program is abolished, its former participants will lose their work permits and their jobs prior to being thrown out of the only country they know as home. That works out to roughly 30,000 people losing their jobs every month that will reduce national GDP by $208 billion to $433 billion over the next decade. And, according to the libertarian belief tank the Cato Institute, the death of DACA will cost employers a little over $2 billion and cost the federal government about $60 billion. Despite what the lying Trump administration claims, the racist decision to end DACA is not “a job-saver;” it is a job-killer.
The economic damage of killing off DACA is exactly why the business sector opposes putting an end to the program. But Trump’s feint of allowing Congress six months to replace DACA (he has no intention of preserving it) has nothing to do with the economy or humanitarianism; he wants it ended to sate his and his racist, nativist supporters’ lust for a “whiter” America.
It doesn’t matter one iota if Trump gave Congress six hours, six days, six months or six years to “replace DACA;” any effort will be stopped in its tracks by Republican extremists in the House Freedom Caucus and their teabagger cohorts in the Senate. Trump knows DACA, for all intents and purposes, is on its deathbed. If he thought anyone with a brain believed he was acquiescing to the appeals of a few Republicans and the business sector by giving Congress a six month window to fix DACA, he is stupider than his racist supporters.
Trump probably understands at this juncture in his failed presidency that the only support he maintains is from evangelical fanatics and racist nativists that comprise the Nazi “alt-right.” It is true he gave Congress six months to fix DACA before it “officially” expires, but he really ended the program because nothing will please him and his asshole devotees more than deporting 800,000 Hispanic immigrants.