So Donald Trump lies! What else is new? Friday, March 23, 2018, the lies continued as Trump boldly looked into the cameras and claimed Democrats had abandoned some 800,000 beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, aka, the Dreamers.
In a way he might be right, because some felt that ever since the backing away from shutting down the government months ago, Democrats have gone soft and are running scared from that tactic and are not willing to go that route again.
And so of course they agreed with Republicans about passing another bill to keep the government open—without a DACA fix.
Trump, who is the person who ended the Obama-era program in September, leaving the young immigrants in limbo and in fear of deportation back to countries their barely remember, seized on this agreement and quickly tweeted that the Dreamers were “totally abandoned” by Congress and especially the Democrats.
In a presser and subsequent spending bill signing ceremony after the tweet, Trump said he was addressing Hispanics and argued the Republican Party was more interested in the fate of “dreamers” than Democrats.
“Republicans are much more on your side than the Democrats, who are using you for their own purposes,” Trump said—another lie of course.
The reality could not be further from the lies told by The Donald, but Democrats seem too weak to do anything dramatic except play catch-up politics. Everyone knows Trump has had several opportunities to make a deal on DACA and he has refused, putting his border wall, ending the green card lottery and the racist call for an end to family migration over DACA.
Democrats were not supposed to cave, but they did.
The March 5 deadline Trump gave Congress to come up with a bill to benefit DACA recipients has long come and gone, and of course now Trump has signed the spending bill into law without any DACA fix in sight, while throwing the Democrats under the bus, along with the issue.
So what’s next? The reality is that no one knows, and that has left many feeling frustrated and “sold out” by both sides.
Paul Quinonez, an undocumented resident of Washington State and a DACA recipient, told Al Jazeera, “Democrats sold out our community by backing down from the demand to include a fix.”
But Quinonez does not believe Trump cares either. “If Trump truly cared about a solution, he would push for a permanent solution and wouldn’t have killed all bipartisan proposals,” he was quoted as saying.
Quinonez’s sentiments are reflected by many who feel betrayed and let down by Democrats while being unable to get any help from Republicans. That has left them bearing their pain alone, with no one to truly help or offer a solution beyond “we tried” and “I’m sorry.”
For now, thankfully, the fate of Dreamers in the system rests with federal courts, whose rulings have blocked Trump’s administration from ending DACA for now and ordered the resumption of DACA permit renewals but not new applications.
However, those actions can be overturned by a higher court, which will make the young immigrants subject to U.S. ICE arrests and deportations.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham said, “By not including a permanent fix for Dreamers in the omnibus [spending bill], the president and Republicans have prolonged this self-inflicted crisis and have left Dreamers in limbo and at the mercy of a temporary court injunction.”
Sadly, the immigration debate and DACA have again been moved to the back burner as gun reform rallies and calls take center stage. And Dreamers are left to pray and dream alone of the day that they can finally be free from the fear of being rounded up and deported.
The writer is CMO at Hard Beat Communications, Inc. which owns the brands NewsAmericasNow, CaribPRWire and InvestCaribbeanNow.