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As of this writing, the White House has announced that they will terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") program in 6 months, if no further action is taken by Congress. From the White House standpoint, the decision seems consistent. Candidate Trump railed against the so called "Dreamers," as part of the immigrants committing crimes in America, to the hoot and hollers of the far right. He promised to reverse the Obama Executive Order upon taking office. So Trump is keeping his word, albeit about 6 months late and with an important condition. As recently as last week, Republican Speaker Ryan asked the President to not terminate the program affecting 800,000 young people, but give the Congress time to reform the program. Many feel that Congress should have been involved from the very beginning of DACA. Seems like the tentative White House decision is a win-win for the Republicans. But a deeper dive into DACA is important:

  • With no interest in immigration reform by the Republicans in Congress, then President Obama came up with DACA as an Executive Action.

  • Obama correctly saw no funding support coming from the Republicans for DACA, and crafted the action to be essentially self funded by the Dreamers. No Congressional action was required.

  • Probably no one, even Obama, saw the tremendous response coming with the Dreamers getting an education, securing value added jobs, and giving back to their communities in service, taxes, and becoming valuable and patriotic residents of our country. There were exceptions, but according to most participating American businesses, the program has been a great success. Businesses are urging President Trump to not cancel DACA.

It is very possible that Trump will alter or reverse the tentative announcement released over the weekend on DACA. But that would be unfortunate timing for him (again). Consider that his action would be taken over the long Labor Day weekend, a time honoring hard working Americans, some of which are the Dreamers. And lastly, all of us have seen the images of desperate Texans digging out from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Many of the heroes profiled on television and social media leading the relief, have been none other than Dreamers.

Mr. President, your tentative decision is well timed for you and your Administration. But it is critical you present your decision with sound reason and concern. No reading teleprompters. From the heart. This could be a positive start for your Administration.

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