The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a federal program initiated by President Obama that Attorney General Jeff Sessions today announced Donald Trump plans to phase out, starting today.

What DACA does is protect immigrants who were brought to this nation as children by their parents. DACA is protecting nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants. The initiative shielded young immigrants from deportation and allowed them to get two-year, renewable work permits and driver’s licenses and to more easily afford college. It meant opportunities beyond low-wage jobs where no official paperwork is filed, and a chance to climb the ladder and enter the spotlight at work as well as school.

For these people, the United States is the only home they’ve ever known. Many don’t even have memories of living in the nations where they were born. Deporting them would be placing them in a strange land that they don’t have much knowledge of, or where anything exists that could be considered a support system. We have already thrown out many of their parents, thus ripping and tearing families apart.

If we’re going to start making children liable for the actions of their parents, then I demand that Donald Trump explain why his father was attending and getting arrested at a Ku Klux Klan rally in 1927.

Perhaps Fred Trump was making connections for the future career of his son. Donald Trump has appealed, made vague references, given wolf whistles, and has made outright racists statements that feed a racist base supporting him.

Trump has questioned a judge’s eligibility to sit on a lawsuit over Trump University because he’s of Mexican lineage. He has called Mexican immigrants “racists and murderers.” He’s retweeted anti-Semitic tweets. He campaigned on building a surveillance system of mosques. He’s initiated a ban on Muslim refugees. He’s extended his bigotry to ban transgenders from the military. He pardoned a racist sheriff who was detaining people based upon their skin color. He claimed there were good people among those in Charlottesville marching with Tiki torches and chanting “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us.” Last, but not least, he’s trying to build a wall on the Mexican border as a monument for the rest of the world to view American racism, xenophobia, nationalism, hatred, and fear.

Trump claims he admires the Dreamers and he loves them. Donald Trump doesn’t love anything unless it has the name “Trump” on it. Stuff like hotels, casinos, planes, Ivanka, Barron, Junior, and maybe even Eric.

Democrats, moderate, and even some conservative Republicans are opposing Trump’s move to deport 800,000 children who were brought to this nation by no choice of their own. We’re talking about 800,000 children and young adults who are making this nation stronger and who understands what it means to be an American a hell of a lot more than Donald Trump or his sycophants could ever understand. He is placing duress, conflict, and playing with the lives of these children and young adults just so he can play politics, and appeal to the Jethros and Jim-Bobs of his base.

He’s also doing this at a time when it should be the least of our concern. Thousands of immigrants make the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey their home. We need to help them help us rebuild those areas, and not line them up for deportation.

During World War II, we interned thousands of Americans just because they were of Japanese descent. That was an ugly chapter in American history which forever shames our nation for its past racism, along with slavery. With actions like ending DACA, we will forever be shamed for the Donald Trump era.

A few years ago I was talking to a young person in a bar who told me his parents brought him to this nation when he was a child. He had no memory of immigrating to the United States. He told me that this nation is all he’s ever known and that makes him like an American. I told him he was wrong. He is an American.

Clay Jones can be reached at clayjonz@gmail.com

Clay Jones
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