A huge majority of Americans, including Republicans, oppose what Trump is about to do. But he's not doing it for them.
Mounting speculation that Donald Trump might soon move to eliminate a five-year old program to protect undocumented children in the U.S. from deportation is stoking deep fears among immigration activists.
Sadly, the move seems to be in line with Trump’s aggressive moves this month to placate the radical-right white supremacy movement in America, especially in the wake of the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
White nationalists and racists have long called for the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which President Barack Obama introduced to shield young undocumented immigrants from deportation by providing them with permits to work and study in the U.S., so long as they arrived as children, and before June 15, 2012.
The initiative has granted work permits to approximately 800,000 young undocumented immigrants.
The program currently faces a looming legal challenge via 10 attorneys general from conservative states that are threatening the sue the federal government if it doesn’t shut DACA down.
As of Friday afternoon, NBC News reported Trump "appears likely" to do just that, deporting hundreds of thousands of young people in America, taking them out of schools and colleges, and kicking them out of the country that is their home.
That, despite the fact that polling this year indicates an overwhelmingly majority of Americans, including 72 percent of Republicans, are in favor of allowing to stay undocumented immigrants who arrived as children. It’s estimated that 65,000 undocumented immigrants students, or Dreamers, graduate from high school each year in America.
Recently, a group of Republican congressmen wrote to Trump urging him to keep DACA in place until Congress can pass immigration reform, which would help codify the program.
Despite the widespread coalition of support, Trump might make a move that would rip families apart and only appeal to the most radical fringes of the Republican Party.
“For extremists and hate groups, DACA has been a months-long source of consternation because they thought Trump would end the program soon after getting into office, and he hasn’t,” notes America’s Voice, an immigrants’ advocacy group. “By ending DACA, Trump would be playing into the hands of extremists, hate groups, and white nationalists.”
But maybe that’s exactly what Trump wants. Maybe what we’ve seen recently hasn't been a random collection of events, but a determined strategy to send constant signals to white nationalists that Trump is aligned with them and he’s helping to push their agenda.
Note that Trump recently suggested he’s willing to pardon the racist Arizona sheriff, Joe Arpaio, who was convicted in federal court for criminal contempt. Arpaio’s office was found to have racially profiled Latinos for years, and refused to stop, even when ordered to by the courts.
The former sheriff constantly spews white nationalist rhetoric and is seen by many as a hated figure who terrorized the community. The White House using the full weight of a presidential pardon to clear someone like Arpaio, convicted of a misdemeanor, certainly looks strange.
And of course, Trump is reported considering deporting young undocumented immigrants just two weeks after the white supremacy mayhem in Virginia.
For some advocates, the moves this month paint a very damning, and frightening portrait of the president:
For majority of Americans ending DACA on the heels of Charlottesville/ Arpaio will cement forever that Trump is a racist President. Forever. https://t.co/3cEmYDZOCs
— Jesse Lee (@JesseCharlesLee) August 25, 2017