When Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the formal decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, the lives of almost 800,000 young undocumented immigrants were suddenly thrown into turmoil.
These people, brought as children by their parents illegally to the United States and living and working here now under renewable two-year visas, will see their entire lives disrupted. For some, the U.S. is the only home they've ever known, and they could be deported back to countries where they have no connections.
President Donald Trump promised compassion to these so-called "Dreamers." Instead, he cruelly decided to tear apart their existence.
Soon after Sessions' announcement, former President Barack Obama, for the first time after last year's election, slammed the Trump administration.
“[Rescinding DACA] is contrary to our spirit and to common sense,” Obama said in an extensive Facebook post.
He explained how the program's recipients, known as “Dreamers,” who entered the country at a very young age with their parents, have done nothing wrong.
“To target hopeful young strivers who grew up here is wrong, because they’ve done nothing wrong. 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. And it is cruel,” read the post.
Obama said Trump’s decision lacks "basic decency."
“... Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people — and who we want to be.”
Obama created the DACA program in 2012 for undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children, which allowed them to work legally without fear of being deported.
But Trump and his administration framed DACA as an abuse of executive power.
"I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents," Trump said this week. "But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws."
Former Vice President Joe Biden also called out Trump’s “cruel” decision on social media.
What good can come of punishing thousands of young people who were brought into this country without their knowledge?
How will this move make America great again?
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Kevin Lamarque