Trump’s DACA statement: “Above all else, we must remember that young Americans have dreams too”
Total cuck move not facing the cameras today to talk about this, bro. But POTUS redeems himself somewhat with this strong statement in defense of rescinding DACA, no doubt principally authored by Stephen Miller. There are two key themes, the first of which is simple legal logistics. However much you may like a policy, you can’t ask the president to defend it if he believes sincerely that it’s unconstitutional.
In June of 2012, President Obama bypassed Congress to give work permits, social security numbers, and federal benefits to approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants currently between the ages of 15 and 36. The typical recipients of this executive amnesty, known as DACA, are in their twenties. Legislation offering these same benefits had been introduced in Congress on numerous occasions and rejected each time.
In referencing the idea of creating new immigration rules unilaterally, President Obama admitted that “I can’t just do these things by myself” – and yet that is exactly what he did, making an end-run around Congress and violating the core tenets that sustain our Republic…
There can be no path to principled immigration reform if the executive branch is able to rewrite or nullify federal laws at will.
Even if you disagree about the program’s unconstitutionality, Obama noted in his own remarks introducing DACA in 2012 that it was designed to be a temporary fix until Congress took action on DREAMers. Well, it’s been five years. The “temporary” period is now over. Trump’s asking Congress to take action. The left’s freakout has less to do with Trump betraying the initial scheme of DACA than Trump refusing to let this become yet another permanent entitlement.
The other key theme is, of course, “America First.”
The decades-long failure of Washington, D.C. to enforce federal immigration law has had both predictable and tragic consequences: lower wages and higher unemployment for American workers, substantial burdens on local schools and hospitals, the illicit entry of dangerous drugs and criminal cartels, and many billions of dollars a year in costs paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Yet few in Washington expressed any compassion for the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system. Before we ask what is fair to illegal immigrants, we must also ask what is fair to American families, students, taxpayers, and jobseekers…
As I’ve said before, we will resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion – but through the lawful Democratic process – while at the same time ensuring that any immigration reform we adopt provides enduring benefits for the American citizens we were elected to serve. We must also have heart and compassion for unemployed, struggling, and forgotten Americans.
Above all else, we must remember that young Americans have dreams too.
That’s a smart rhetorical move in the short term, in keeping with the restrictionist view that immigration is ultimately a zero-sum game. If DREAMers are taking jobs that young American citizens might otherwise fill then there’s a human cost to not canceling the program. Jeff Sessions made the same point during his presser this morning, stressing that DACA helped trigger a rush of unaccompanied young illegals across the southern border and “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens.”
Trump’s going to have two problems with that approach, though. First, Democrats and even many Republicans are arguing that DREAMers functionally are Americans. This is the culture they’ve grown up in and they bear no responsibility for the lawbreaking that got them here. The “illegals replacing Americans” argument is tricky with this particular class of illegal. Beyond that, Sessions’s remarks and Trump’s Miller-esque statement this morning make it sound like the administration doesn’t want Congress to pass a DREAM bill. There’s no veto threat (yet) but the upshot of Trump’s statement is that we need to put young American citizens first. If he believes that, why didn’t he stress that over the past six months whenever he was asked about DACA instead of mumbling about “heart”? If Congress does pass something and the bill lands on his desk, populists are going to point back to this statement as an argument for why Trump shouldn’t sign it. What will he do then? The guy’s obviously been pro-DREAMer until now.
In fact, not too long ago, he was really pro-DREAMer. Watch the clip below from 2012 (I believe) that Andrew Kaczynski dug up this past weekend. Exit quotation via the NYT: “As late as one hour before the decision was to be announced, administration officials privately expressed concern that Mr. Trump might not fully grasp the details of the steps he was about to take, and when he discovered their full impact, would change his mind…”