Obama warned Trump he would speak out if administration targets Dreamers
Barcroft Media via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — While former President Barack Obama has not remained silent since he left office in January, he has shied away from directly criticizing moves made by his successor.
That may change, however. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), is being phased out. The program protects young people who were brought to the United States illegally as children from being deported.
During the final news conference of his presidency on January 18, Obama specifically said that he would speak out against any attacks on Dreamers, as the young adults who have benefitted from DACA are known.
“They are our kids’ friends and their classmates, and are now entering into community colleges or in some cases serving in our military,” Obama said at the time. “The notion that we would just arbitrarily — or because of politics — punish those kids when they didn’t do anything wrong themselves, I think would be something that would merit me speaking out.”
Obama made the comment when asked if he was “fearful for the status” of Dreamers under Trump. In his response, Obama differentiated between debates over the “normal functioning of politics and certain issues or certain moments where I think our core values may be at stake.”
Obama listed systemic discrimination, voting access issues, and “institutional efforts to silence” the press as examples of such attacks on core values, as well as attacks on the rights of the young undocumented people protected by DACA.
“For me at least, I would put in that category efforts to round up kids who have grown up here and for all practical purposes are American kids and send them someplace else when they love this country,” Obama said.
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