Our 45th president swept into office with a foundation of racist claims.
First, the very basis of his political participation was his false assertion (for which he has never apologized) that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Using the “birther” movement as a basis, No. 45 signaled to every random racist out there that he was willing to ignore truth to attack President Obama.
Then he used horrible rhetoric to describe Mexican people as violent rapists, followed by his usual “and some of them are very nice.” He suggested that a federal judge could not do his job because he was of Mexican descent.
And much of his campaign was focused on deporting people. The pace of deportations has increased in these few months since he took office.
Now, he has snatched the rug from under stable lives that a group of young people called “Dreamers” have built. These young folks were brought to these United States by parents who came to this country illegally. In legal limbo, thus unable to apply for jobs or college admission, many lived shadow lives, working under the table – or not at all, piecing together livelihoods as best they could.
President Obama grappled with this issue and, through an executive order (because Congress would not act), created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Attorneys general in some states have described the program as illegal and have threatened to sue for its elimination.
Attorney General J. Beauregard Sessions has said he would not defend the program because President Obama “overreached” in establishing it. So the camera-hogging No. 45 allowed Beauregard (who he very recently dissed) to announce that DACA will be ended, although there is a “grace period” of six months.
I don’t think many understand how many hoops childhood arrivals must jump through to attain “Dreamer” status.
They must pay almost $500 every two years and fill out more than a dozen forms to qualify, including forms that detail income, expenses and assets.
They must have a work permit. If they move, they must inform the US Customs and Immigration Service.
And they can’t leave the country without permission, which is only sparingly granted, and usually only for educational purposes. Requests to visit relatives are rarely granted. When they are, there is no guarantee that Dreamers will be allowed back into the country.
President Obama did a great thing by creating DACA, but the program does not go far enough. Dreamers do not have the same privileges that other citizens have, and they have more responsibilities. Their status may be revoked if they have had any interactions with law enforcement officers. (We all know how that goes).
It appears that No. 45 has given Dreamers some hope by delaying DACA elimination for six months, and by making nice with Democratic leaders. But the drama of dangling possibilities then snatching them away is his typical showmanship and irrationality.
The fact that Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House parrot, raised Black unemployment in a White House press conference is further evidence of this administration’s racism. Has there been any other time when these people have mentioned Black unemployment?
All about Obama
Part of the reason No. 45 is revoking DACA is his anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant, racist biases. But part of it is his administration’s attempt to eliminate anything “Obama” from our government.
It is pathetically appalling to watch the way that No. 45 and his minions are obsessed with President Obama and the work he did. For example, Education Secretary Betsey DeVoid (of good sense), has decided to “examine” the Obama approach to campus rape. She is more concerned, it seems, with those accused of rape or sexual assault, than with the victims.
FBI data shows that only five percent of rape accusations are false. We should be more concerned about those who won’t come forward than those who are unjustly accused.
But someone who works for a genital grabber might well see things differently.
Similarly, an Obama-era regulation that would have EEOC collect data on pay differences by race and gender in companies with more than 100 employees has been suspended.
S-called women’s advocate Ivanka Trump has said that collecting such data really doesn’t matter. As many as 800 Obama executive orders and regulations have been reversed.
We shouldn’t be surprised that DACA has met the same fate.
Won’t turn back
Dreamers aren’t going to simply slink back across borders to countries they have never known as adults. They took it to the streets in protest. They are letting No. 45 and his sidekicks know that their dream won’t be deferred.
We should all be inspired by their activism and stand with them for justice.
Julianne Malveaux is a Washington, D.C.-based economist and writer. Her latest book, “Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy,” is available at www.juliannemalveaux.com.