The DACA Decision: Trump’s Power Move to Get A Wall



Madison Dibble

In his latest attempt at trapping Congress into giving him a big beautiful wall, President Trump turned his focus to the Dreamers of President Obama’s famed executive action, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

DACA’s main purpose is to allow individuals who entered the country as a minor to have a two-year delay to any deportation and access to work or student visas. To be clear, DACA is not a law. It was an Executive Order written by President Obama through his power in the executive branch that commanded that law enforcement defer deportation of people who entered the United States as a child.

Because DACA has no legislative authority, President Trump can pick it up or drop it whenever he is bored. His latest political power move is to toss DACA if he doesn’t get a new immigration policy (e.g. a wall with the word Trump on it).

Trump’s action in a political sense is quite brilliant. He is able to hold Republican’s feet to the fire because Republicans campaigned on repealing DACA and reforming our immigration system. The Republican’s biggest challenge is that most of them appear to like DACA. The GOP leadership is folding on DACA left and right and they are begging President Trump to refrain from using it as a bargaining chip. It even appears that President Trump does not want to end DACA because he is giving Congress six months to give him a wall,tweeting that Dreamers have “nothing to worry about.”

While the DACA discussion is lighting a fire under the establishment, it is also dividing the voter base—a move that could prove harmful in the 2018 elections. Trump voters want to end DACA and if the current Congressional representation folds on immigration reform, it could hurt their chances in of winning 2018. With that said, Trump did not assume too much risk invoking DACA because the Democrat party is a dumpster fire with horrible numbers and the voter base has the attention span of a flea and they probably already forgot about the whole thing.

Leaders across the nation found the time to speak out against the action including University of Minnesota President Kaler who sent an email to the entire student body stating, “I am deeply disappointed by the decision today to begin to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA…DACA has changed lives and allowed young people to attend college, pursue graduate degrees and launch careers. In their quest to advance their lives and pursue their learning and life goals, these fellow Minnesotans represent what is best about our state and our nation.”

So, with both Republicans and Democrats fuming about the decision, it begs the question: Who is to blame for this mess?

Both sides played their part, but the root of the problem was President Obama’s failure to act within his Constitutional authority. By choosing to skirt Congress and pass this law, President Obama not only promised the Dreamers something he couldn’t deliver, he forced undocumented immigrants to give all of their information to the government leaving President Trump and ICE an easy list of people to target.

While President Trump looks like the monster in this situation, he is actually pushing for the solution. He wants to sign DACA into law and he is going to get his wall with the same pen stroke.

Politics aside, the Dreamers are standing in limbo and this cannot remain unaddressed. The Dreamers are people, too, and we owe them the decency of transparency. President Trump should not have used the Dreamers as a bargaining chip and President Obama should not have promised the Dreamers something he could not deliver.

A transformation of the United States immigration system is long overdue. What that looks like remains unclear. President Trump is pushing for his wall but funding is uncertain. Democrats—and a growing portion of Republicans in Congress—want an amnesty deal similar in the vein of DACA. Trump’s base wants illegal immigrants deported.

One thing is clear: no one will get exactly what they want.

The biggest losers will likely be President Trump’s strongest supporters. His failure to move on immigration has not gone unnoticed by his base (especially Ann Coulter who regularly tweets that the number of miles completed on Trump’s is still at zero). His admission that he would fold on DACA in six months and his plea to Congress for an immigration policy is nothing more than a guise to build the wall and give amnesty to the illegal immigrants living in the United States.

Although President Trump’s call to end DACA seems serious, deportation of the Dreamers is ultimately unlikely.