Trump Declares ‘NO MORE DACA DEAL!’ After Quoting Border Patrol Union Prez

on March 23, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America

Months after ending an Obama-era program to protect young undocumented people from deportation, President Donald Trump on Sunday continued to make explicit what he has told undocumented immigrants repeatedly since announcing his presidential aspirations in 2015: You are not welcome here.

Trump in September of last year ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which grants work authorizations and protection from deportation to undocumented young people who meet certain qualifications. Two federal judges later paused Trump’s action, leaving DACA recipients to face an uncertain future.

DACA applicants must have entered the United States before their 16th birthday and continuously resided in the country since June 15, 2007, on top of other requirements.

Since September, while occasionally voicing support for DACA recipients as a political cudgel against Democrats, Trump has made no serious effort to help turn protections for DACA recipients into permanent law.

The Trump administration has also intervened against a handful of DACA fixes that otherwise had bipartisan support, to the frustration of Democratic lawmakers and even some Republicans.

All the while, the Justice Department has also continued to fight in court for Trump’s right to terminate the program. The Supreme Court in February denied the government’s attempt to leapfrog the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals with an appeal of a lower court’s injunction.

The so-called “catch and release” policy refers to undocumented immigrants being released from the government’s custody while awaiting court dates. While serving as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security last year, John Kelly said “We have ended dangerous catch-and-release enforcement policies.”

But as Reuters pointed out at the time, it’s not so simple: Various court rulings govern how long undocumented immigrants can be held in the government’s custody. Also, there simply aren’t enough beds in the nation’s immigration detention centers to house every undocumented immigrant facing potential deportation.

Unsurprisingly, Trump’s outburst borrowed nearly word-for-word from an interview on “Fox & Friends Sunday,” minutes earlier, with Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council.

That border patrol union made the unprecedented decision to endorse Trump, without a union-wide vote, during the Republican presidential primaries. Judd later served on Trump’s transition team.

Judd and the “Fox & Friends Sunday” crew discussed a “caravan” of Central American migrants and asylum seekers — as reported by BuzzFeed’s Adolfo Flores — organized by the group Pueblos Sin Fronteras. The caravan is making its way through Mexico, toward the United States’ border, hoping, according to Flores, that it finds safety in numbers during a journey known for legal impediments and dangerous gangs

“What’s funny about this is President Obama used to say, ‘Well, they’re hiding in the shadows,’” Judd said. “Well all we’re doing is we’re going to release about 1200 people that are then going to go hide in the shadows again. They’re going to wait for a immigration reform, and they’re going to create havoc and chaos. I mean, how many times do we have to hear stories of United States citizens being killed by people that are here illegally before we actually do something?”

Before Trump used the term “nuclear option” Sunday, Judd did, referring to a potential Senate procedure to eliminate the legislative filibuster and allow legislation with a simple majority of support avoid minority obstruction.

“They can go the nuclear option, just like what they did on the confirmation,” Judd said, referring to when the Republican Senate majority nuked the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees before Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation vote.

Comments