Former President Barack Obama responded at length to President Trump's decision Tuesday to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, writing on Facebook that "these DREAMers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper."
On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said DACA, which protects individuals known as DREAMers who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, was "unconstitutional" when it was implemented by Obama in 2012 via executive action. Sessions also said DACA had "denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans" by granting work authorization. Obama responded in his statement, writing that "because it made no sense to expel talented, driven, patriotic young people from the only country they know solely because of the actions of their parents, my administration acted to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people, so that they could continue to contribute to our communities and our country."
Obama went on:
Let's be clear: The action taken today [by Trump] isn't required legally. It's a political decision, and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn't threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us. They are that pitcher on our kid's softball team, that first responder who helps out his community after a disaster, that cadet in ROTC who wants nothing more than to wear the uniform of the country that gave him a chance. Kicking them out won't lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone's taxes, or raise anybody's wages. [Barack Obama, via Facebook]
"Ultimately, this is about basic decency," Obama concluded. "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." Read Obama's full statement here.