Despite the fact that Donald Trump himself initiated the end of DACA, the president laid the blame for its looming failure squarely on the shoulders of congressional Democrats, in a tweet on Saturday.
According to Trump, it is the Republicans and not the Democrats who want to fix DACA; the controversial program instituted by the Barack Obama administration.
After promising that DACA recipients would be safe from deportation, while simultaneously running on a platform to end illegal immigration, it appears that Trump is now setting the stage for the end of DACA.
According to statistics, the dismantling of DACA would place nearly 1 million immigrants in danger of deportation, along with millions of others who already do not have DACA protections.
Democrats have expressed concerns that ending DACA will result in separating families as well as criminalizing a large group of people who were promised relief from the federal government. Trump and his Republican allies say that DACA rules are too lax and allow gang members and other dangerous people to enter the country.
Trump has made several disparaging remarks about immigrants, from calling Mexican asylum seekers “rapists” and “drug traffickers,” referring to Haitians as “living in huts,” to allegedly saying that Latino and African immigrants are from “s**thole countries.”
Trump’s Saturday tweet appears to be in preparation for DACA to expire unless significant changes are made to it and funding for the border wall is included. Congress passed a temporary funding bill this week after a brief government shutdown. However, there were no provisions in the bill for DACA or the wall. Trump has been clear that there will be no DACA unless Congress agrees to fund his border wall.
Additionally, it appears that there will still be a problem with continuing DACA even if funding for the wall is included, due to sweeping changes that Trump Republicans insist need to be included in a new incarnation of DACA.
Democrats contend that the proposed revisions to DACA not only unfairly discriminates against poor immigrants, but defeats the purpose of immigration in the first place.
The Republican alternative to DACA, called the RAISE Act, includes language, education, and financial requirements that detractors say would even bar many American citizens from entering the country.
The Republican RAISE Act would be a points-based system that includes the following:
- Having a relatively high-paying job offer, with more points for a higher salary (maximum of 13 points)
- High English test scores (maximum of 12 points)
- Age, with those closest to age 25 earning the most points (maximum of 10 points)
- Educational attainment, with more points for degrees earned in the United States, and for advanced degrees in a STEM field (maximum of 13 points)
- Investing at least $1.35 million in the United States (maximum of 12 points)
- Extraordinary achievement: earning a Nobel Prize or equivalent, or being an Olympic-caliber athlete (maximum of 25 points)
- Having been in line for an eliminated visa category (2 points).
Under the proposed program, applicants must pass a strenuous background check and score at least 30 points for consideration.