Why Obama's Legacy Can Never Be Erased

Today, my President issued a statement that reminded me that worrying about 45 is of no use.  True leadership DOES exist in the world...in this country. And real leaders can never be erased from history.

The decision to "wind-down" DACA is purely partisan and completely political.  Without offering a viable legislative alternative or showing, for the past eight months any competence as president or any ability to lead his political party, 45 is essentially proving that all he wants to do is erase Obama's legacy and stir up his racist base.

There is nothing else that he could be attempting to do at this point.

But Obama persists.  Showing him up at every turn.  Being ever more presidential nearly a year after he peacefully gave up the office of the presidency to a total moron.

This decision by 45 is not motivated by any of the reasons his staff so carefully laid out in his official statement.  If he actually cared to address immigration issues in a meaningful way, he and/or GOP leadership would have a viable legislative option. But, no, he does not actually wish to promote a specific piece of legislation that would or could replace DACA.

The truth is, DACA was the response of a real leader to a Congressional gridlock.  It took a real problem and offered a solution, whether it should have been short- or long-term, Obama created a path to temporary legal status for nearly one million Americans (because to me, for all intents and purposes, DREAMers ARE American) who are both willing and able to contribute constructively to this nation. The rigor of obtaining DACA status is enough to prove the commitment of those who are granted it.

The current president has opted to allow psychological terror back into the lives of young men and women for whom the constant fear and anxiety of being deported to a country that seems as foreign as Narnia looms over their heads.  Those who were brave enough to apply for work permits and begin the path toward achieving legally documented status are once again told to be fearful.  Even younger children who were brought here by parents and older family members, not knowing that a person could ever be considered "illegal," are now watching the person holding the most power in this country tell them that they will have NO way to make things right or achieve a sense of safety and security in this country that has been their home for so long.

To pull the rug out from under a million plus young people with no intention of replacing it with anything functional is callous and hateful. There is no justification for this action whatsoever. None.  To stand with 45 on this is to stand with hate and irrational anger and, quite frankly, to stand on the wrong side of history.  THE WRONG side.  There is nothing that this action accomplishes aside from making more people of foreign born ancestry fearful of calling America home.  It is unfair, mean spirited, and un-American.

I am happy to read Obama's response and see him speak truth to power.  He is and always will be my president. And his consistent clapbacks to 45's poor leadership...I am totally here for all of it.

Here is his statement:

Immigration can be a controversial topic. We all want safe, secure borders and a dynamic economy, and people of goodwill can have legitimate disagreements about how to fix our immigration system so that everybody plays by the rules. 

But that’s not what the action that the White House took today is about. This is about young people who grew up in America – kids who study in our schools, young adults who are starting careers, patriots who pledge allegiance to our flag. These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants. They may not know a country besides ours. They may not even know a language besides English. They often have no idea they’re undocumented until they apply for a job, or college, or a driver’s license. 

Over the years, politicians of both parties have worked together to write legislation that would have told these young people – our young people – that if your parents brought you here as a child, if you’ve been here a certain number of years, and if you’re willing to go to college or serve in our military, then you’ll get a chance to stay and earn your citizenship. And for years while I was President, I asked Congress to send me such a bill. 

That bill never came. And 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. We did so based on the well-established legal principle of prosecutorial discretion, deployed by Democratic and Republican presidents alike, because our immigration enforcement agencies have limited resources, and it makes sense to focus those resources on those who come illegally to this country to do us harm. Deportations of criminals went up. Some 800,000 young people stepped forward, met rigorous requirements, and went through background checks. And America grew stronger as a result. 

But today, that shadow has been cast over some of our best and brightest young people once again. To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel. What if our kid’s science teacher, or our friendly neighbor turns out to be a Dreamer? Where are we supposed to send her? To a country she doesn’t know or remember, with a language she may not even speak? 

Let’s be clear: the action taken today 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. 

It is precisely because this action is contrary to our spirit, and to common sense, that business leaders, faith leaders, economists, and Americans of all political stripes called on the administration not to do what it did today. And now that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress, it’s up to Members of Congress to protect these young people and our future. I’m heartened by those who’ve suggested that they should. And I join my voice with the majority of Americans who hope they step up and do it with a sense of moral urgency that matches the urgency these young people feel. 

Ultimately, this is about basic decency. 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. What makes us American is not a question of what we look like, or where our names come from, or the way we pray. 

What makes us American is our fidelity to a set of ideals – that all of us are created equal; that all of us deserve the chance to make of our lives what we will; that all of us share an obligation to stand up, speak out, and secure our most cherished values for the next generation. That’s how America has traveled this far. That’s how, if we keep at it, we will ultimately reach that more perfect union.


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