Former President Barack Obama released a statement condemning President Trump’s order to end his executive action that protects people who immigrated illegally to the U.S. as children.
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Obama conceded that immigration is a complicated and controversial topic over which people of goodwill can have reasonable disagreements. But Obama argued that the White House’s most recent action to end
“Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a
The former president also pointed out that the immigrants affected by the Trump administration’s latest action were brought to the United States as children — sometimes infants — and are often not familiar with their home country’s culture or language. They often don’t even know they are undocumented until they need to fill out an application for work, college or a driver’s license.
“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,” he said. “These DREAMers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper.”
Obama noted that politicians on both sides of the aisle have pushed for legislation that would allow these young people to stay in the country and earn citizenship if they were willing to attend college or enlist in the military. He said congressional inaction forced his administration to take action to protect them from deportation.
“To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong,” he said. “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.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced earlier Tuesday that the Trump administration would start phasing out Obama’s program, which he characterized
Former Vice President Joe Biden also released a statement opposing the Trump administration’s decision. He recounted a story of a young girl who grew up in the U.S. but
“These people are all Americans. So let’s be clear: Throwing them out is cruel. It is inhumane. And it is not America,” Biden said. “Congress and the American people now have an obligation to step up and show our neighbors that they’re welcome here, in the only place they’ve ever called home.”
Although Obama has publicly opposed many of Trump’s proposals and actions — both as a candidate and a president — this recent statement is his most forceful since leaving office. Last January, in his first public statement since leaving office, Obama said that
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