|Imagine being ripped away from the only country you have ever known as your home.
After assuring young undocumented immigrants that they “shouldn’t be very worried,” President Donald Trump may soon make a huge pivot and make the cruel decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, former President Barack Obama’s celebrated program providing temporary protection from deportation to many DREAMers—young people who came to the United States as children.
If President Trump chooses to end DACA, it would be another sign that he has firmly aligned himself with the voices of white nationalists and nativists and would put nearly 800,000 Dreamers at risk of deportation.
Now, we must defend the 800,000 young people who would be stripped of DACA’s protection. Here’s what you can do to rise up for DREAMers:
The report examines the potential economic consequences of cancelling the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, or DACA. Under DACA, undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as minors are eligible to apply for a renewable work permit protecting them from deportation. Approximately 800,000 people, sometimes called “dreamers,” have benefitted from DACA, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
An average of 30,000 workers could lose their jobs every month if DACA were repealed or permit renewals were held up, the report found. It also estimated that the loss of those workers could cost the country $460.3 billion in economic output over the next decade, with Medicare and Social Security contributions dropping by $24.6 billion.
The report was published by progressive advocacy group Center for American Progress and FWD.us, a pro-DACA group founded by tech leaders including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
“Ending DACA would place severe economic strain on businesses around the country, putting them into the impossible and extremely costly position of having to fire productive employees for no other reason than an arbitrary change in federal policy, potentially resulting in backlash from other employees, or their broader community,” the report reads.
The findings come as a group of state’s attorneys has threatened to sue the White House over DACA if it isn’t halted by September 5, calling the program “unlawful.” “DACA unilaterally confers eligibility for work authorization and lawful presence without any statutory authorization from Congress,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a statement in June.
Trump has not yet made a decision about DACA’s fate, according to the White House.
“This has been a very lengthy review and it’s certainly not over. It’s something that is still being discussed and a final decision hasn’t been made,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday. (Fortune Magazine: Alana Abramson)
We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.” – Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, December 10, 1986
In his eagerness to remain neutral and build a bridge of equivalence between hate spewing white nationalists and counter-protestors united against the cancer of racism metastasizing in our country, President Trump-whether through callousness or political calculus-has emboldened white supremacists and signaled tacit, if not clear support, to hate mongers.
Let’s be clear. There were not “many sides” in Charlottesville.
There were alt-right adherents, nationalists, neo-Nazis, and whatever new-school euphemisms are out there to describe devotees of old-school racist ideology. And you can put them all on one side-or if you prefer-a basket of deplorables. There were also people there who put their lives on the line, including 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who lost her life while fighting for civil rights, human dignity and the promise of a better America for all its citizens.
Trump’s refusal to denounce the side that advocates terror and violence and came to Charlottesville armed to the teeth to provoke hostilities is a colossal failure of leadership. It is a dangerous, precedent setting green light to hate groups and an open door to the return and re-legitimization of white supremacy.
Though the rising tide of disappointment over Trump’s muted response rightfully continues to swell, there are those encouraged (by) his words. And as you might have guessed, they are white supremacists. The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, released a statement praising Trump’s response as “good,” adding, “He didn’t attack us. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.”
Former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke made an appearance at the rally before the violence erupted and explained the event’s significance by saying it “represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back. We’re gonna fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s gonna take our country back, and that’s what we gotta do.”
Rule of thumb: when hate groups, and KKK grand wizards, former or otherwise, support your words and actions, recognize that you are doing something entirely wrong. And you must know now, if you didn’t know then, that you are absolutely not on the side of right and need to make your way there sooner rather than later.
Horrifying expressions of white supremacy and Nazi sympathies are not novel to our nation or the 21st century. What is shocking, however, is that these kinds of demonstrations and displays of naked hatred can happen on American soil without clear condemnation from the highest levels of government. Trump has not lost his power to communicate clearly and quickly. When Merck CEO Ken Frazier resigned from Trump’s business council after the president failed to unequivocally denounce white supremacists, it took Trump less than an hour to hop on Twitter and clearly denounce the pharmaceutical company’s African-American CEO. Compare that to the near 48 hours it took for Trump to release any statement that condemned white supremacy after Charlottesville.
During Trump’s inauguration speech, he promised to be a president for all Americans, yet almost six months into his presidency, that promise has not been realized for vast swaths of people. The presidency is not a parochial endeavor. True leadership cannot be realized when the next election and pleasing your slice of American supporters animate your decisions and policies. True leadership would not demonize Americans who put their lives on the line for equal rights and racial justice for all, and it would not cast these people as the equivalents of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. There should be no room for this brand of vicious hate in our society. This requires a leader who unequivocally stands against the surging tide of hate, not one who steps aside and allows the detritus to wash ashore.
While most of the bill has language we can support, there are a couple of key provisions that would be detrimental to property owners in Louisiana, namely the loss of grandfathered or subsidized rates for any property with two or more flood claims of any dollar amount. Our Louisiana Congressional delegation, led by Congressmen Scalise and Richmond, have worked diligently to make sure NFIP is a sustainable program that is also affordable, and they are all united in opposition to this bill.
At NOMAR we understand the importance of having flood insurance reauthorized before the September 30th deadline. We want to see something done to ensure continued coverage for all policy holders, but HR 2874 in its current form is not a bill we can support.
When you receive the Call for Action on Tuesday, we are asking that you DO NOT click the link. Simply disregard or delete the email.
We will continue to work with our members of Congress to find a solution that would extend the program, while making it sustainable and affordable, in a bill that is good for property owners, our REALTOR® members, and your clients. Stand with NOMAR and your Congressional delegation and do not take the Call for Action.