Commentary, Trump Administration

Editorial: Save program for undocumented kids

The Greensboro News & Record has a fine editorial this morning that’s worth a few minutes of your time. “Save DACA” highlights the troubling signs that the Trump administration is chipping away at the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — the Obama- era immigration policy that allows kids brought to the U.S. as young children to stay, even if they’re technically undocumented, so long as they stay out of trouble.

After relating the story of a DACA youth who was almost wrongfully deported (the Trump administration said it used its “discretion” to let her stay) and pointing out that the program is still in effect, the editorial concluded this way:

In fact, the agency is following a presidential directive that is still in force. President Barack Obama’s executive order establishing the DACA program was one of his finest actions, making so much sense that Trump hasn’t touched it. At least not officially.

Yet, there are worrisome signs. Asked about the Montes case on Fox News Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “The policy is that if people are here unlawfully, they’re subject to being deported.” His statement didn’t acknowledge that DACA status means individuals are here lawfully and should not be subject to deportation.

If Trump overturns DACA, he should be prepared to deport not only college students but members of our armed forces or spouses of military men and women. Also “subject to being deported” will be bright young people who hold professional jobs or are otherwise gainfully employed, paying taxes, starting families and contributing to their communities.

Even people who view all illegal immigrants as “criminals” must recognize that small children aren’t committing crimes when their parents carry them across a border. The children didn’t choose to enter the United States, and by the time they’ve grown up, they don’t know any home other than this country. Yanking them from their American lives and sending them to a foreign “homeland” is cruel to them and bad for the U.S.

ICE has plenty of high-priority illegal immigrants it should target for arrest and deportation. It’s not a matter of “discretion” to leave DACA participants alone. It’s good policy and a presidential order.

Click here to read the entire editorial.

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