Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA, repealing legal protections for young immigrants in the United States.
He tried explaining the Trump administration’s move with certain claims, most of them dubious and fraught with racism and xenophobia.
Here are five misleading claims, made by Sessions to defend President Donald Trump’s discriminatory decision.
1. DACA provides legal immigration status to “illegal aliens”
“The DACA program was implemented in 2012 and essentially provided a legal status for recipients for a renewable two-year term, worker authorization and other benefits, including participation in the Social Security program, to 800,000 mostly adult illegal aliens,” claimed Sessions.
However, this is false.
Most of the now adult DACA recipients entered America at a very young age, arriving at an average age of 6. They didn’t have anything to do with this decision, and on the other hand, the parents thought this was the best for their children while bringing them in the country.
The main concept of this program was to provide a pathway to school and work for such children.
But DACA is not like the green card. It does not give legal status to the recipients; instead it makes their deportation a non-priority for two years.
2. DACA led to a “surge of minors” across the border
According to Sessions, DACA “contributed to a surge of unaccompanied minors at the southern border with humanitarian consequences.”
This is another lie.
While crossings by minors have increased in recent years, there is no proof of DACA being the reason behind it. The program was implemented in 2012, while the border surge of unaccompanied minors started earlier in 2011.
3. DACA recipients get same public benefits as ordinary American families
“DACA granted unauthorized immigrants the same benefits as Americans, including Social Security ... and other benefits, including participation in the Social Security program,” claimed Sessions
This stance isn’t completely false, as DACA recipients get legal protection. However, they are not eligible to have the same benefits as American families. For instance, they are not
4. DACA recipients take away jobs from Americans
Sessions declared that DACA denied jobs to “hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs.”
Once again, this claim is extremely dubious.
If anything the Dreamers work to add more to the American economy, they don’t take away good jobs from Americans, and in fact many immigrants leave higher-skilled jobs, which require English fluency, for the American citizens.
5. Ending DACA will be good for immigrants
According to the attorney general, ending DACA “will enable our country to more effectively teach new immigrants about our system of government and to assimilate them.”
But ending the program will leave the futures of 800,000 young immigrants, who have settled in the U.S., hanging in the balance. How is this good for them?
Only time will tell how eliminating undocumented immigrants, who are now working in America, paying taxes, living lawfully, will benefit the country. If anything, incidents of white supremacy and bigotry have risen during Trump’s tenure.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Joe Skipper