Obama and Biden blast Trump for ending DACA. Read their statements here. - Macleans.ca

Obama and Biden blast Trump for ending DACA. Read their statements here.

‘Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America’


On Tuesday the Trump administration announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, otherwise known as the Dreamer immigration program. It protects immigrants illegally brought into the United States as children from being deported. In response, former-president Barack Obama, who created the program, issued the following statement.

Update: Scroll down for a statement from former vice-president Joe Biden.

Barack Obama’s Dreamer 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.

READ: Salman Rushdie says Donald Trump is “demolishing reality”

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.

READ: What happens if Donald Trump quits?

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”


Joe Biden’s Dreamer statement

Shortly after Obama released his statement in response to the White House decision to end DACA, Biden issued the following statement on Facebook:

Imagine a young girl, age 4 or 5, traveling with her parents into the United States as they make the hard decision to pursue a better life here. Imagine that child growing up as your student, your co-worker, your friend. Because of the president’s decision today, she now must live in fear that she will soon be thrown out and sent back to a country she has never known.

This story speaks to the experience of roughly 800,000 people known as DREAMers here in America today. These children didn’t choose to come here, but now many of them are grown with families of their own. They’re paying taxes. They’ve joined the workforce. They went to college. Some of them joined the military. Now, they’ll be sent to countries they don’t even remember.

These people are all Americans. So let’s be clear: throwing them out is cruel. It is inhumane. And it is not America. Congress and the American people now have an obligation to step up and show our neighbors that they’re welcome here, in the only place they’ve ever called home.


Obama and Biden blast Trump for ending DACA. Read their statements here.

  1. Canada could do worse than offer the Dreamers refuge. Most seem to be well-educated young people who speak English, and who would have no difficult fitting in. And it would be a poke in the eye to Trump (although we could easily deny that was our intention).

    • My thoughts exactly.

  2. Who knew, allowing congress to determine how DACA should be handled is an issue to Obama. Even after the supreme court already ruled on DACA. It’s time for congress to put forth legislation to deal with it, afterall that’s what Obama promised to begin with, who knew.

  3. This should be protected here, so it can never happen in Canada.

  4. A number of States have joined forces and threatened a lawsuit against the. Trump Administration claiming that DACA is unconstitutional.

    Hopefully Obama’s dream of a path to citizenship can be found.

  5. Obama’s executive order on DACA was unconstitutional. It was not for him to decide. All Trump is doing is sending the issue back to where it belongs constitutionally, which is Congress, and he is giving Congress six months to do the right thing by the dreamers and by the Constitution.

    Obama believed he was God and enact laws by degree. That is not the American way.

    • It the DACA executive degree had failed in the Supreme Court, there would not have been six months to make thing properly legal.

      Obama had left the issue in legal limbo with his unconstitutional degree, and no dreamer was safe as long as their status depended on an unconstitutioinal order.

      • A lot of people have been calling it unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court has yet to rule on it. I’m not even certain any lower courts have – though I’ve seen some generic references to lower courts having upheld its constitutionality.

        Certainly, Obama – who taught constitutional law – is a tad more clued in as to the constitutionality of DACA than, say, Trump. Sessions is calling it unconstitutional, and he too is a lawyer, so there may be some grounds for debate. But it is an area of unsettled law in the US.

        The executive order was set to expire and Trump elected not to renew it. That’s really what happened here today. Trump left some wiggle room to give Congress time to act. It will be interesting to see what comes out of it.

        Meanwhile, given they are English-speaking, and American-raised and -educated, maybe we should be looking at ways to attract them to Canada. Their adjustment period would be negligible, and they could start contributing to Canada pretty much from Day 1.

        • The Supreme court, in fact, did come to a 4-4 decision, leaving DACA in limbo. Obama enacted DACA under EO, as a temporary measure, where he specifically stated it was a temporary measure and not a path to citizenship. Trump giving congress 6 months to provide legislation is the right thing to do.

          • Obama said that the individual mandate was NOT a tax, to get Obamacare passed. But in order for the Supreme Court to make it legal and constitutional, the Supreme Court had to call it a tax, or it would have been constitutional.

            When Obama says something is constitutional, it usually isn’t. Under his tenure, he legitimized the surveillance state, and neglected to test its constitutionality. And we have seen how he and his underlings have abused the process to spy on Americans by widespread and broad unmasking of names.

            The Obama Administration were totally negligent in their refusal to use antitrust law, which allowed the unparalleled merger mania and monopoly creation in corporate America during this tenure.

            Obama also refused to prosecute any prominent banksters for the fraud that caused the global economic recession and presided over the massive growth of the TBTF banking behemoths in the US.

            Obama was never for you or the ordinary people. Never has there been such stagnation in wage growth of ordinary Americans, and unprecedented wage growth amongst the top 1% and wage growth squared amongst the 0.1%.

    • The word is “decree.” And Trump has been doing the same – to an even greater degree – with his Executive Orders (decrees).

      • The big difference between Trump’s executive orders and Obama’s is in how they are being deployed. Obama used executive orders almost solely to expand the reach and scope of the power of the state, and in ways that were almost universally against the grain of the thinking of Jefferson, Madison, Adams, et al.
        Trump, never one to be considered a constitutional scholar, has used his executive orders to roll back the overreach of the state, which was how the authors of the Constitution saw that it should be. Obama engaged in verbal, intellectual and legal gymnastics to justify and support his actions. “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” ring a bell? It was a bald-faced lie. Trump is pretty straight forward on his use of executive privilege.
        The media dishonesty in how it’s covered is another story.

        • I’ll add this addendum. When Republicans complained about DACA, Obama told them to go out and win elections if they didn’t like his policies. They did, so here we are.

  6. DACA was nothing more than an executive order to pander to liberal voters. It ended with Obamas presidency.

    Believe it or not, many people don’t think immigration laws should be ignored, even for that ultimate priority, buying votes.

    They aren’t refugees. Canada has no business ignoring our immigration laws either.

    • The vast majority of Americans, including those in congress, agree that DACA was the right thing to do, given the Republican inability to deal with key immigration issues. That’s “many people”.

      And this latest offense by Trump is nothing more than pandering to the Republican base – consisting mostly of white, middle-aged immigrant haters – in advance of next year’s midterm elections.

      There are many different ways these young, educated, ambitious people can be accepted into Canada under existing rules and processes. Do your homework.

      • It has nothing to do with hatred and everything to do with respecting immigration laws.

        The people in question chose to disregard immigration laws, snuck into the country and then appealed to have the children they left behind, join them.

        It is a tragedy of their own making.

  7. DACA was illegal! Obama has scammed the USA for 8 years! Trump is about REALITY, Trump has done MORE for the USA in 8 months than Obama EVER did!… enough said!

  8. Canada NEEDS a Trump, not a Chump!!!