Anti-immigrant organizations like FAIR, CIS, NumbersUSA, and IRLI, all of which have ties to white nationalists, have long taken a hardline stance that the federal government should dramatically restrict immigration and make life as difficult as possible for undocumented immigrants already living here. Their harsh viewpoints make no exception for young undocumented individuals who have been living in the U.S. since childhood. Many of these individuals have been granted temporary status through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and most know only the U.S. as home.
For years, anti-immigrant groups have advocated to strip DACA recipients of their work permits and make them more vulnerable to deportation. They are also at the center of the latest assaults on young immigrants.
Background on the Latest Assaults on DACA
On September 5, 2017, President Trump tasked U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a long time ally to the anti-immigrant movement in the United States, with announcing the administration’s decision to rescind DACA. Right now 800,000 young people’s lives are at risk as the result of a strategy to leverage their well being with harsh restrictionist policies that would result in a moral and economic disaster.
In February of this year, the Los Angeles Times predicted the scenario that has taken place – that Republican State Attorneys General would threaten to sue President Trump if he did not end DACA. The strategy was expressly designed to help President Trump save face while tacitly sanctioning such an extreme anti-immigrant measure. The LA Times piece attributes this strategy to senior administration officials, while Kris Kobach, current Kansas Secretary of State and the leading architect of much of the country’s most notorious anti-immigrant legislation, is on record supporting this approach. In March, Buzzfeed reported that Steve Bannon had actually advocated for keeping DACA in place for a short period of time, as he considered its use as leverage for later immigration fights, such as using the program to extract demands for funding to support a ramp-up in deportations or potentially for cuts to legal immigration.
In June, after months of making comments about not wanting to hurt DACA recipients, President Trump rescinded the 2014 Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) memo (which had never been implemented), while keeping the 2012 DACA memo in place.
Less than two weeks later, the backdoor assaults on DACA that had been telegraphed in the February LA Times piece began:
Hardline anti-immigrant crusaders moved ahead with their plans to pursue restrictionist policies and have similarly been driving the anti-Dreamer campaign:
This is an assault by the anti-immigrant lobby inside and out of the White House that has put nearly 800,000 DACA recipients under imminent threat.