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Donald Trump’s Ignorance on DACA

I’m not sure why I do it.

I just do.

It’s not healthy.

Yet, President Donald Trump’s twitter feed is a train wreck; the uncollected and unfiltered thoughts of a 71-year old man-child can be unsettling. His twitter tantrums typically rail against own staff (see Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson) and promote unhinged policy changes that often catch his own aides unaware (see immigration proposals or basically anything resembling foreign policy).

His latest rants against Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA, is particularly eventful. For the uninitiated, DACA is an Obama-era immigration policy allowing minors that arrived illegally in the United States to receive a renewable two-year work permit, basically deferring deportation. Consideration for DACA is significant:

  • Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  • Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

However, DACA has been used as a political tool for President Trump, who is desperately seeking money to build his wall. Trump, considerably unhinged this week, makes these arguments as he goes.

On September 5, 2017, Trump, not Democrats, executively repealed DACA. Folks under DACA protection had until March 5 to renew their work permit, otherwise deportation was very realistic for over 800,000 participants when their permits expire.

This tweet articulates one of two things: 1) Trump’s ignorance about the law or 2) he’s purposefully manipulating (aka lying about) the narrative to serve his political purpose (aka, financing the wall that won’t shield the country against anything). The obvious point is that an illegal immigrant must have lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007 for DACA Consideration. In addition, you must be part of a GED or high school program, or were honorably discharged from the military. Any illegal crossings since June 15, 2007, wouldn’t even be granted consideration for DACA.

The idea that immigrants are coming across the border to commit violent crimes against Americans is widely unsupported. Per the Cato Institute: “Butcher and Piehl examine the incarceration rates for men aged 18-40 in the 1980, 1990, and 2000 Censuses.  In each year immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than natives with the gap widening each decade.” According to the New York Times: “Analyses of census data from 1980 through 2010 show that among men ages 18 to 49, immigrants were one-half to one-fifth as likely to be incarcerated as those born in the United States. Across all ages and sexes, about 7 percent of the nation’s population are noncitizens, while figures from the Justice Department show that about 5 percent of inmates in state and federal prisons are noncitizens.”

Several states filed lawsuits against the repeal and the Supreme Court refused to hear the case in February. The Ninth Circuit is currently reviewing.

In the meantime, the world and Trump’s tweets continue.

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