Former US President Barack Obama on Tuesday denounced a “cruel” decision after the Trump administration called into question the program initiated by the Former White Occupant that allows hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth, known as Dreamers, to study and to work in the United States.
“This is about young people who grew up in America – kids who study in our schools, young adults who are starting careers, patriots who pledge allegiance to our flag. These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants. They may not know a country besides ours. They may not even know a language besides English. They often have no idea they’re undocumented until they apply for a job, or college, or a driver’s license,” he said in a statement, defending the program he had put in place in 2012, by decree.
The Daca (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), cancelled Tuesday by President Donald Trump, was aimed at getting out of the shadow the children who illegally arrived in the United States with their parents, most of them from Latin America.
“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,” said Obama, who until now remained very discreet since leaving the White House on January 20.
“Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us. They are that pitcher on our kid’s softball team, that first responder who helps out his community after a disaster, that cadet in ROTC who wants nothing more than to wear the uniform of the country that gave him a chance. Kicking them out won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes, or raise anybody’s wages,” Obama added.
Following the announcement, the Mexican government released a statement, deploring the decision of Donald Trump and asked the US Congress to find a “quick” solution to put an end to the uncertainty weighing on them. “Our country can not ignore the fact that thousands of young people born in Mexico will probably be affected by today’s decision,” said the Mexican government.
Several business leaders have also reacted to the decision. Apple CEO Tim Cook posted on twitter: “250 of my Apple coworkers are #Dreamers. I stand with them. They deserve our respect as equals and a solution rooted in American values.”
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s influential CEO, published a statement on the social network, which reads in part: “This is a sad day for our country. The decision to end DACA is not just wrong. It is particularly cruel to offer young people the American Dream, encourage them to come out of the shadows and trust our government, and then punish them for it.”