DEMAND THAT OBAMA PARDON DACA IMMIGRANTS!
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PRESIDENT OBAMA: ACT NOW. You have the power to stop Donald Trump from carrying out his racist campaign to deport the 700,000 immigrant students, youth, and young adults in DACA
In June 2012, President Obama enacted a new immigration plan that had the potential to give about two million undocumented youth a new and special legal status. The program President Obama created was called Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, known popularly by its acronym DACA. DACA offered about two million youth the opportunity to come out of the shadows and to live free from fear of imminent deportation.
To qualify for DACA, undocumented youth had to have come to America as children, resided in the United States continuously since 2007, and be either a high school student or someone who received a GED or high school diploma. Any youth or young adults who satisfied those criteria were urged to apply for entry into the program. DACA offered many new rights and opportunities to those that qualified. A DACA youth had the right to obtain a driver’s license, a work permit, a social security number that could be used to apply for grants and scholarships, and the ability to leave the country and return free from detention. DACA allowed undocumented youth to live as near-citizens. It provided a modicum of freedom and equality, the opportunity to live a more ordinary life free from constant fear of deportation. It provided undocumented youth a taste of what real equality might be.
Every young person who qualified for DACA agonized over the same set of issues. Applying for DACA required giving the government every scrap of personal and familial information that could prove the person applying met the criteria for entrance to the program. In addition to handing over school records, addresses, a letter from their priest, some undocumented youth were required to give fingerprints and a DNA sample. Every applicant understood that handing over so much information to Homeland Security made the youth seeking DACA and his/her family members easy targets for ICE harassment and deportation. Still, the benefits of living openly as who you are and being able to do more for your family took priority over the risk.
Hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth relied on the promises of the Obama and his administration that the data they provided would never be used against them or their families enrolled in DACA.
DACA is the most important and far reaching immigration reform adopted during President Obama’s eight-year Presidency. It has altered the lives of millions of undocumented people. DACA was created by President Obama through the powers given to the President by the United States Constitution. Creating DACA did not require the approval of Congress, the courts, or any other governmental body.
The election of Donald Trump is certain to mean an attack on DACA. The only undecided question is whether the new youth-led immigrant rights and civil rights movement can mobilize the forces needed to get President Obama to keep his promise to the DACA young people by making every DACA recipient a permanent resident. If President Obama lacks the will to act, then it will be up to the new movement to protect the DACA youth. President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly stated his intention to end DACA and deport the DACA youth. We can and must derail his plan. However, our best chance to succeed requires us acting now before Trump is inaugurated. Once he has the power to unleash ICE against our communities, he will show no mercy.
The Trump administration has declared its intention to deport the DACA youth first for one reason: they already have the information to go after them. But Trump will have this information only because Obama and the U.S. government promised DACA applicants they would be safe. It would be dishonorable, unconscionable, and inhuman for Obama and the U.S. government to break their word and simply hand over the DACA youth to Trump’s immigration-scapegoaters to deport.
Today, the most urgent task of the new integrated youth led immigrant rights and civil rights movement is to get President Obama to use the same Executive Powers he used to create DACA to protect the more than 700,000 enrollees from deportation. President Obama clearly has the power to defeat President-elect Trump’s plan; now he must find the will to use it. The focus of the immigrant rights and civil rights movement must be to use our great social power to win what is needed to protect DACA youth from deportation and backlash. We must continue and expand the marches and demonstrations taking place. We will need students and youth to lead the movement to assure that it remains independent and fearless in action.
We need to organize high school and middle school walk-outs, marches and strikes to shift the balance of power away from Trump’s movement of racism and tyranny, to build our own movement fighting for equality, dignity and freedom for all. If we stay in the streets, build our movement and demand that President Obama keep his promise to the DACA youth, he will find a way to protect them.
Trump promised his racist white supporters that if he was elected he would end DACA, deport millions of undocumented people and build a wall across the border separating the United States and Mexico. When Trump takes office he will act quickly to fulfill one or more of these promises. Eliminating DACA and deporting the youth who have benefited from it looks like the easiest policy to implement. Ending DACA, like creating DACA, can be done by the President signing a single Executive Order.
The only way to head off this impending disaster is for President Obama to take action now to protect those who have received DACA and their families. To do this President Obama must choose to take on Trump and do everything in his power to stop Trump’s racist vision for America to be realized before he can enact it. Playing nice with Trump only builds up Trump’s authority and the legitimacy of his taking office even though he lost the popular vote. Trump needs to be defeated now to protect Latino/a, Black, Asian, Muslim and other minority and immigrant communities from his tyranny and racism.
Stopping Trump’s plan will require our new movement to grow and assert our social power. In 2006, massive immigrant rights marches shut down cities, schools, factories, universities, docks and transportation. That movement defeated the anti-immigrant bill, HR4437. We have the power we need to win; we just need for our movement to have a clear set of demands to be fighting for and a perspective on how to win. In the next two months, if we fight we can protect DACA; we will build our movement, organize it to fight for our demands and put ourselves in the position of being able to defend our communities.
Many young people who received DACA led or actively participated in the huge immigrant rights demonstrations and marches of 2006. Many led the walkouts at their high schools and middle schools. Some of the DACA youth have continued to build and lead the movement. However, our movement desperately needs new brave and resolute youth leaders to step forward and build this movement. The next period of history will create new challenges, and to meet these challenges we need leaders who are fighting to win.
The students and youth who signed up for DACA believed that the government would protect them. If the present federal administration cannot or will not provide the DACA youth with the protection they relied on when they signed up for DACA, they will lose confidence not just in the politicians who betrayed them but in the government itself.
President Obama made a promise to the hundreds of thousands of bright, promising, talented and brave undocumented youth to create important new rights and legal protections, to give them the little bit of freedom they needed to thrive and develop. The DACA youth took a big risk to advance themselves, their families and their communities when they gave the immigration authorities every bit of information they would ever need to easily find them and deport them. Politicians routinely break promises they have made to their supporters. This breeds disappointment and cynicism among voters. Obama breaking his promise of hope and progress for the Latina/o communities by abandoning DACA would leave families in disarray, with communities forced to do whatever is necessary to protect their promising youth and future leaders from being hunted down and deported for wanting to build a better society. If President Obama fails to do what must be done for the young DACA recipients, they will have been betrayed by both political parties and will feel deeply alienated from the government.
President Obama has a number of different ways to protect DACA youth and immigrant communities. He could use his Presidential powers to grant full amnesty to all DACA youth and change their status to permanent resident and give them their green cards now. Every DACA recipient has had a complete background check, and every minor offense from a traffic stop to jaywalking has been reported to the FBI and Immigration. DACA youth are the most closely watched and scrutinized group of people in America. They are young people who grew up in America and have no other place to call home. They more than satisfy the requirements to become permanent residents. President Obama can give amnesty to DACA youth and should do it now.
The Constitution of the United State gives the President of the power to “grant Reprieves and Pardons for offenses against the United States…” Art.2 sec(2)(1). A presidential pardon has been interpreted by the Supreme Court as the President exercising his “ultimate authority” to advance what is needed to protect the public welfare. President Ford granted conditional amnesty to 50,000 Americans who dodged the draft for the Vietnam War—President Carter gave full pardon to over 200,000 draft dodgers. President Obama, during his two terms in office, granted dozens of pardons to counterfeiters, embezzlers, drug dealers, etc. Freeing the DACA youth from being criminalized and victimized by the Trump administration defines what acting to protect the public welfare means. The eruption of violence that is bound to occur when Trump starts to implement his racist program of mass deportations can be prevented if President Obama, while he possesses the legal and moral authority to act, does so. Failure to act would be tantamount to Obama’s consent and collaboration in an historic crime against humanity.
Build the movement now to stop Trump’s attacks on immigrants, democracy, and equality
- Defend Immigrant Rights
- Stop Trump’s Deportations
- Defend DACA and DAPA
- Open Borders
- Shut Down Immigrant Concentration Camps (Detention Centers)
- Defend Sanctuary Cities and Sanctuary Campuses
- No Wall, No Militarization of the Border with Mexico
- Stop the Creation of a Trump-led Police State
- Build a Mass Movement for Democracy and Equality to Stop Trump’s Racist and Misogynist Movement of Hate
Join BAMN. We will not accept the coming to power of a fascist movement in America. No Trump Tyranny!
Donald Trump has used the presidential election in the United States to build a movement modeled on the semi-fascist ultra-right wing immigrant bashing parties of Europe, like the Le Pen National Front, and the historical experience of the rise to power of Mussolini’s fascists and Hitler’s Nazi’s. With Donald Trump’s assumption of the presidency, the first step would be taken in the creation of a fascist power over the American government and the American people. The feeble electoral tactics of Clinton’s Democrats have failed to prevent this disaster for democracy in the U.S. and around the world. Both the Democratic Party and the American news media have proven bankrupt in defeating Trump or even in speaking the plain truth about the threat he presents and the real character of the movement he heads.
Trump and his movement can be defeated, but only by a new mass movement committed to the principles of democracy, equality, diversity, and openness. Only such a movement can defeat Trump, his billionaire club backers, and his mass lynch-mob followers’ struggle to undermine those principles in order to carry out draconian attacks on immigrants, organized labor, and all oppressed communities. Trump’s movement is at war with the new majority-minority America with its liberating commitment to diversity, tolerance, and internationalism. Trump’s demagogy and even his personal image promises a return to a reactionary utopia of white-skin privilege and male power over women.
To defend the democratic gains of the past, and realize the potential for a fully human liberation in the future, and to avoid both the destruction of Americans’ most cherished principles and a world of increasing division, hate, and violence, we must build a new mass movement to defeat Trump and everything he stands for. The building of such a mass democratic movement is the greatest and most urgent challenge of our times. Our new mass movement, by mobilizing everything that’s best in us, can defeat Trump and his ugly mob, which concentrates everything that is worst in American history. Now is the time to build the movement to defeat Trump through mass political education, struggle, and direct action. Join BAMN now in building this movement. We cannot let Trump win.
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Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, Immigrant Rights & Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN)