DACA Is Ending. But the Movement Is Not.

Today the Trump administration announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has enabled nearly 800,000 young men and women who came to the United States as children to live and work without fear. President Trump proved once again that he is not a president for all Americans, but only a few. As with his recent pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, his message is clear: He stands with the nativists in rejecting communities of color and people of good will who understand that America’s greatest strength comes from inclusivity, not exclusion.

Attorney General Sessions claimed today at his press conference that DACA needs to end because it is unconstitutional. He’s dead wrong. He also claimed that ending DACA was “compassionate.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The rescinding of DACA is a cruel and disgraceful act. But these young people, known as Dreamers, who have used DACA to build their lives, will not be defeated. They will not quietly disappear into the shadows. They will continue to fight for the Dream Act, which will put youth who came here as a children on a path to citizenship. And they will fight to fix our broken immigration laws for all families in the future.

President Trump proved once again that he is not a president for all Americans, but only a few.

I know this because I have watched undocumented youth lead one of the most powerful civil rights movements in the United States today. I remember marching with hundreds of young immigrants in 2014 through the streets of Phoenix — in Maricopa County, home to then-Sheriff Arpaio — to protest deportations and then-Gov. Jan Brewer's ban on issuing drivers' licenses to Dreamers. The Arizona Dream Act Coalition, led by young immigrants and represented by the ACLU and partners, defeated that ban in court.

That march ended at an immigration detention center in downtown Phoenix, where the protesters confronted the officials who could banish them and their families from the country they know as their home. Chanting "undocumented and unafraid," they demanded recognition of who they are — Americans in every way but on paper.

That rally in Phoenix reminded me that Dreamers belong in that long line of everyday heroes who have been denied full membership and participation in this society. And yet they stand up and fight, representing the best of our democratic traditions. Their spirit and tenacity — despite persecution and fear — demonstrate true courage in painful and dark times.

The philosopher Jacques Rancière writes that “politics exists because those who have no right to be counted as speaking beings make themselves of some account.” This occurs when the people who have historically not been counted demand that society confront the contradiction of their reality. Blacks, women, queers, the disabled, and many other oppressed groups have remade history in our country by changing who counts: through politicizing the contradictions they live through and demanding that they be counted. This is what democracy looks like.

I have watched undocumented youth lead one of the most powerful civil rights movements in the United States today.

Undocumented young immigrants are making the same demand of us today. The movement calls on Americans to face this national contradiction: Millions of people are an inextricable part of the fabric of this country and yet we have a system of immigration laws that denies their existence. This is a structure that promotes and extends racial and economic oppression. The Dreamer movement has challenged us to take responsibility for the fact that our country must change. And in doing so, it’s offered us the possibility of a new America that embraces us all.

DACA is only the beginning of what the movement can do. So mourn its end, but then stand up and fight for the people who are fighting for their lives, and who, in doing so, are fighting for the soul of our country.

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Anonymous

Well there's ANOTHER nail in your coffin, Trump. Keep hammering. I can't wait until YOU'RE the one who needs help, asks for it and gets nothing. That IS what will happen, big-shot or no, billionaire or no.
Something you don't even believe exists finally got angry at you. You don't need to believe it's true; this isn't Peter Pan, it doesn't require your belief for it to be correct.
If you don't stop doing all these horrible things you're doing you're going to be the one having similar things happen to YOU and nobody will help you, sure as hell not the people you think like you, who DON'T and never have, just the money is what they're after.

Anonymous

As President he has no powet to give DACA any permanence and it probably is Constitutional. That means that if he didn't cancel it then the lawsuit would get filed and DACA recipients would have to go through all the stress and campaigning of last week while the lawsuit winded its wau through the courts which could take years. In the meantime, if the liberals managed to get Trump impeached then Pence might decide to cancel DACA and on and on and on. Years and years of stress and fighting for DACA until someone finally manages to kill the program. That's just not rational.

J Procter

Mr Tan is certainly passionate. Passion without wisdom is foolishness. Much of what he says is pure emotion that does not come close to considering the whole issue. He intentionally avoids talking about the root causes (or solutions) of how it is that we have such a large population of illegal aliens and their children here in our country and the collateral negative consequences associated therein. Instead he focuses on the simpletons view - just "stop being cruel" and just "be nice," "their being here doesn't hurt anyone" and "make them all legal." Laws. What are they? Representative Republic. What is that? We all understand that many (not all, some don't care ) of these people want to become Americans. Congress is the appropriate branch to define a way and make it law, without setting precedence that creats incentive for more people in the future to enter illegally. For example, providing an "exception" pathway to citizenship process just for this current group of illegal aliens may incent future want-to-be immigrants to come in illegally rather than follow normal application processes because they think they will have an easier time of it if they just get over the border. It is also very disingenuous to suggest that there are no negative impacts associated with these and other people here illegally. Unemployment in the lower job skill and income demographics is very high, particularly for young black American population. This is at least partially due to "Dreamers" and other illegals. I agree with President Trump and AG Sessions on this issue. Congress needs to address this issue and other immigration related laws. That is their function.

Quit your BS

Proctor, you seem to have missed an important citation with respect to the constitutionality of DACA (https://medium.com/@shobawadhia/dacas-five-year-anniversary-more-than-10...). Why should the author rehash the full argument when they can cite a resource that already does so thoroughly? The article focuses on the DACA decision and not the influx of immigrants, which predates DACA by the way (this peer-reviewed academic study indicates it began in 2008 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/imig.12250/abstract), because the DACA decision is the imminent threat to 800,000 productive peoples' lives. I challenge you to provide any peer reviewed study that confirms Sessions' specious claims that DACA recipients are taking jobs from American citizens. If our government is to punish productive members of our society who've done nothing wrong, based on this claim of economic damage to their natively born peers, then it behooves the accuser to provide compelling evidence to support the claim.

Anonymous

You won't get anywhere until you actually learn how the Constitution works. However then you will find that the correct term for what you are is foreigner. Its actually rather rude fora foreigner to boss another country's government around and demand to be allowed to stay. That's not a civil rights movement. It's an attempt at colonization. I'd rather they give citizenship to the Haitian TPS holders than you guys

Robert Post

When does the ACLU file its lawsuit. This is another gross abuse of power by the detestable regime of Donald Trump.

Anonymous 1

The current immigration system isn't broken nor does it promote"racial and economic oppression", as the author claims. It's not perfect, but my parents immigrated and my brother's wife immigrated to the USA. No, we aren't white or from some European stock. Not even close.

Neither a broken immigration system or one based one injustice would have allowed my parents and brother's wife to settle in the USA nor would neither me or my brother would be here.

Make no mistake the immigration system more than 70-80 years ago, it was exactly like that...unjust and racist. The one we have now opened new doors for my family...

Anonymous

In response to Attorney General Sessions comments regarding the rule of law I for one say it is about time!
For almost 40 years as a legitimate business owner in the building sector, I have had to deal with these unscrupulous, unlicensed, uninsured fly by night companies both owned and filled with cheap and illegal aliens. They work cheap and they work for cash. Most do not pay income, business, social security or unemployment tax.
Or if an illegal does manage to get on the books with a company they did it by stealing the Social Security number, birthday, and home address of an thousands, maybe millions of American citizen. This happened to me. I spent years, and alot on money trying to clear that up. They came here illegally and they steal identities. They have had years to apply legally. To conclude, the illegal does not contribute in any meaningful way to the community. They are abusers of the system. They take much more than they give. They started their new life here in America by lying, cheating and scamming the American people. Then they want to cry foul when they get called out on their misdeeds. Please spare me the tears.

Please research...

Your comment reflects a complete misunderstanding of what DACA is. The subset of immigrants that are committing the crimes you describe are not the same people that are benefiting from DACA. To qualify, they have to register and they are not even eligible unless they meet the temporal conditions and the education requirements. They are disqualified if they have committed a felony, serious misdemeanor or pose any threat to public safety or national security. You're entitled to an opinion, but when you're advocating for repeal of a policy, which will have a significant impact to a huge number of people's lives, you should at least educate yourself on the most basic aspects of the policy before forming an opinion.

Immigration is not a simple issue. Deportation is a nontrivial process and costly to execute. DACA was enacted as a practical way to allow people who were in this country illegally due to no fault of their own, and that pose no threat to public safety, to come out of the woodwork and be productive members of the community.

Anonymous

I totally agree, I don't care if these immigrants are here but my ancestors did it legally. What is the big deal to apply for citizenship and do their fair share in paying what eveyone else does.. Just be honest and contribute to instead of draining the system

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