Obama Speaks Out to Defend DACA

Calls Trump's decision to end it 'cruel' and 'contrary to our spirit'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2017 3:08 PM CDT
Barack Obama says President Donald Trump's decision to roll back DACA is "cruel" and "self-defeating."   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

(Newser) – “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." Barack Obama in a Facebook post Tuesday publicly condemned the Trump administration's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. In the post, Obama calls ending DACA "cruel" and against "basic decency" and "contrary to our spirit" as a country, adding a “shadow has been cast over some of our best and brightest young people once again.” He says ending DACA doesn't make the borders safer or help the economy.

Politico reports Obama, who created DACA in 2012, had promised to speak out if there was any attempt to end it. The current administration's decision to do so, he says, has no legal basis and is pure politics, contradicting arguments out of the White House. In his post, Obama asks Congress to pass legislation to reinstate DACA: "It’s up to members of Congress to protect these young people and our future." About 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children have used DACA for protection against deportation while getting jobs and an education, the Hill reports. “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," Obama says. (Read more Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals stories.)

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