Congress to Salvage DACA? Dream On
After Mitt Romney’s failed 2012 Presidential run, the Republican Party elders decided that they had to reach out to Hispanic voters to recapture the White House. Despite their stated goal to improve the effort, three years passed without significant outreach. Yesterday the GOP finally extended its hand to the Latino community. Unfortunately, the hand was holding a net and a grappling hook.
AG Jefferson Sessions announced that DACA, Deferred Action against Childhood Arrivals, would terminate, effective immediately. This action primarily affects Mexicans, who entered the US as kids. These kids, many now adults with at least a high education or a service history, a means of support, a record free of serious criminality and substantial. ties to their communities and families, will be refused the opportunity to remain here. They’ll be forced to return to their country of origin, in which they will be strangers and will have to make a new start.
The formal declaration was farmed out to the Department of Homeland Security, not the Immigration and Naturalization Service, suggesting this to be a security issue. It’s not. The rollback of the brown segment of the population is part and parcel of the administration’s goal of the Bleaching of America. The GOP tent is not big enough to allow brown Americans, even those who serve the country, pull their weight and obey the law. The administration’s intention was clear by its failure to make a serious Congressional effort to address the issue over the past sixteen years.
Every outbreak of nativism and violence brings reminders of the temporary legitimation of White Supremacy and intolerance in the 1920s, when the robed Klan marched down Pennsylvania Avenue. The movement went back underground. It’s never gone away.
The point was driven home with the election of Donald Trump. Trump’s attitude was clear from his support of the cockamamie Birther attack on President Obama. He put on the finishing touch in his candidacy declaration. Striding to the microphone in his gilt palace, he declared Mexicans, specifically, criminals and rapists, unleashing the white supremacist fervor to purify the American Birth Stock. We’ve already seen the emboldening of their xenophobic movement in Charlottesville and in the Justice Department.
Their tactic repulsed Latino citizens, not just the Dreamers which DACA was meant to assist. Outrage was immediate. Protesters took to the streets in many cities and states that are home to a significant Latino populace. Trump, expressing faux compassion for the Dreamers, granted a six-month window for Congress to come up with a plan before canceling deferments and renewals. This is ripe, given the GOP’s inability in this Congress to reach a consensus on any meaningful policy so far. More than a few GOP senators in states like Arizona, New Mexico and Texas have meaningful Latino voting blocs they are not willing to ignore. On the other hand, their party as a whole reconsidered its effort to capture the Latin vote, then concluded that if they can’t join the Latinos, they’ll beat them.