DACA decision, Day 2: ‘Keep working. Keep doing the right thing. Keep fighting.’


On the day after the Trump administration rescinded DACA, that decision remained the focus of immigration news. Several state attorneys general announced a lawsuit to reverse Trump’s decision, as did a Mexican-born Dreamer.

Attorneys general from 15 states, D.C. sue to save DACA (Washington Post, 9/6/17)

“The suit, filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York, alleges that rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was a “culmination” of President Trump’s “oft-stated commitments — whether personally held, stated to appease some portion of his constituency, or some combination thereof — to punish and disparage people with Mexican roots.”

“The suit says that unwinding the program would damage states because DACA beneficiaries pay taxes, go to state universities and contribute in other ways, and that phasing out the program would jeopardize their ability to do those things.”

A Mexican-born DREAMer is Taking Legal Action to Halt Trump’s reversal of DACA (Buzzfeed, 9/6/17)

” Lawyers for the plaintiff, Martín Batalla Vidal, said they planned to raise two claims against the administration’s decision to end DACA: First, that officials failed to offer a “reasoned explanation” for the move, in violation of the federal Administrative Procedure Act, and, second, that the decision was unconstitutionally “motivated by anti-Mexican and anti-Latino animus.”

Minnesota score card:

Supporting DACA and Dreamers, opposing Trump decision: DFL Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, DFL Congressmembers Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, Tim Walz, Collin Peterson and Rick Nolan.

Opposing DACA and Dreamers, supporting Trump decision: Republican Congressmenbers Tom Emmer and Jason Lewis.

Somewhere in the middle: Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen said he supports fixing our broken immigration system and that Dreamers can stay, but doesn’t say anything about ending DACA.

Why can’t ‘Dreamers’ just apply for citizenship? (WCCO, 9/5/17) WCCO answers this listener question, interviewing John Keller, Executive Director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. Most Dreamers are not eligible to become citizens. The path to citizenship starts with legal immigrant status, which is not available to most people in the world.

“Catalina Morales is a Dreamer who came to the U.S. when she was 2 years old. Here’s how she responded when asked if she’s ever thought about becoming a U.S. citizen:
“Almost always, but there’s no way for me to become a U.S. citizen,” Morales said.

How will rollback of ‘dreamers’ program affect Minnesota (Worthington Globe, 9/5/17) Most directly affected: the 6.255 state residents who have DACA.

“John Keller, executive director of the immigrant law center, a St. Paul-based nonprofit that provides immigration legal services, said getting rid of DACA will mean more people dropping out of the formal economy, paying state and local taxes and contributing to Social Security….

“The Minnesota Office of Higher Education says some 1,300 students have benefited from a 2013 state law that makes resident noncitizens eligible for the same kinds of college financial aid that citizens get.”

After Trump administration’s decision to end DACA, Minnesota’s undocumented community vows to fight back (MinnPost, 9/6/17)

” Juventino Meza, a DACA recipient and student at Mitchell Hamline Law School in St. Paul, said that leaders of his community are prepared to work with both Democrat and Republican officials to address the issue. “As we think about what comes next,” he said, “we want Congress to pass a bill that recognizes the complexity of the issue and creates a permanent solution, not only for DACA holders but for the 11 million undocumented immigrants.”…

[David Soto] “Once DACA happened, I could actually see my future,” Soto said. “That was really the first time I thought about my future — going back to school, investing more in my career, planning for my future, buying a house and creating a retirement account.”

Fear and uncertainty for Dreamers as Daca ends: ‘Where am I going to go?’ (The Guardian, 9/6/17) They are in high school, in college, working. One is an employer, with U.S. citizen employees, and wonders what will happen to them. Another is renewing her work permit, paying fees and having her fingerprints taken again. That is a surreal moment:

“They just go about business like nothing happened. The person who was taking my fingerprints asked me how my morning was.”

Column: Stunned, disappointed, but still defiant and hopeful: ‘Dreamers’ press on despite Trump’s DACA stance (Los Angeles Times, 9/5/17)

“Booting people to countries many of them barely know isn’t just callous, it’s bad economics. While the constitutional implications of DACA may be debatable, you’d think a president who passes himself off as a brilliant businessman might have risen above a base instinct to exploit the politics of race…

” “It’s one thing to root out criminals,” said USC demographer Dowell Myers. “But DACA kids are not criminals. They’re like manna from heaven. We’ve already invested in them. They’re required to be good kids to be part of the program. And you would chase them away?…

“So what to do? I asked that question of Casas.

“Keep working, he said. Keep doing the right thing. Keep fighting.

“All we can do is continue taking care of our responsibilities.”

Among ‘Dreamers,’ dismay and anger over Trump’s decision: ‘He just rips it all away‘ (Los Angeles Times, 9/5/17)

“They’re afraid of what could happen to them and their families, she said, but determined to be heard.

“It’s a combination of that fear, but also that fearlessness,” she said. “Of wanting to stand up, of not wanting to be pushed into the shadows, of wanting to have their human dignity recognized.”

Analysis: After tough talk on immigration, Trump waffles (AP, 9/6/17)

” Trump passed off responsibility for the fate of the 800,000 young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children to a Congress that has shown little ability to tackle politically fraught issues. He gave lawmakers six months to act, then said in a Tuesday night tweet that he would “revisit this issue” if they didn’t. He sent Attorney General Jeff Sessions out to be the face of the controversial policy, effectively ceding one of the central roles of the presidency: explaining difficult decisions to the American people.”

Trump says he will revisit DACA if lawmakers don’t act (The Hill, 9/5/17) Which means absolutely nothing.

Staffers worried Trump didn’t fully grasp consequences of ending DACA: report (The Hill, 9/6/17)

“The New York Times reported Tuesday that administration officials privately raised concerns as late as one hour before the announcement about Trump’s understanding of the effects of rescinding DACA.”

And from that New York Times story:

“The blame-averse president told a confidante over the past few days that he realized that he had gotten himself into a politically untenable position. As late as one hour before the decision was to be announced, administration officials privately expressed concern that Mr. Trump might not fully grasp the details of the steps he was about to take, and when he discovered their full impact, would change his mind, according to a person familiar with their thinking who was not authorized to comment on it and spoke on condition of anonymity.”

The Memo: GOP fears damage from Trump’s move on DACA (The Hill, 9/6/17) They are afraid of losing Latino voters (who were none too enthusiastic about Trump before the decision), and also afraid of the effect of the decision in energizing Latino political participation.

Raised in America, now back in Mexico: ‘The country I loved kicked me out’ (The Guardian, 9/6/17) Two young professional women tell their return-to-Mexico stories.



About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet, www.tcdailyplanet.net, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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