President Obama warned Donald Trump that he would speak out against him if he went after the “Dreamers.” Trump did it anyway. And now Obama’s got a few things to say.
It is a rare thing for a former president to speak out against a sitting president in this country. A very rare thing. Even with a nightmare as bad as Donald Trump in the White House, we have heard very little from any of the former presidents about him.
But before he left office, President Obama said that he would speak out if an extreme circumstance arose where he felt he had no choice.
On Tuesday, the White House announced that they are ending DACA. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was put into place by Obama to protect children who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents. Thanks to Obama, 800,000 young undocumented immigrants have been protected from deportation and are thriving in the only country most of them have ever known.
But in a purely political decision for his hateful base and out of sheer cruelty, Trump ended that on Tuesday.
So, just as he said he would, President Obama has responded. On Tuesday afternoon he posted a statement on his Facebook page.
“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.”
Obama explained that Trump’s decision was not a legal choice but instead, “It’s a political decision, and a moral question,” adding, “Kicking them out won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes, or raise anybody’s wages.”
President Obama said, “this action is contrary to our spirit, and to common sense.” And he explained,
“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,” he went on to say, “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.”
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