By State Representative, Leon D. Young
Donald Trump is up to his old, played out tricks: Blaming Democrats and the Mexican government for an increasingly “dangerous” flow of illegal immigrants. Trump unleashed his latest scurrilous attack in a series of fiery tweets last Sunday, in which he vowed “NO MORE DACA DEAL” and threatened to walk away from the North American Free Trade Agreement.
It’s unclear whether the president’s tweet barrage represented any change in his immigration policy or were just the sort of venting he is known to do after reading a newspaper article or seeing a television program. The president, who spent much of his holiday weekend golfing with supporters and watching television, was apparently reacting to a “Fox and Friends” segment on immigration that spent him into a tirade.
Whatever his true intention, which is anybody’s guess, Mr. Trump’s Twitter outburst captured the fickle tendencies that have driven his policy positions on immigration. On one hand, he has suggested at times that he is open to extending citizenship to millions of undocumented people. On the other hand, he has denounced those who have entered the country illegally as brutal criminals and raged about lax enforcement that he said had allowed immigrants to pour into the country.
As he walked into church in Palm Beach last Sunday morning, Mr. Trump did not respond to a question from reporters about whether his tweets meant that he would no longer support any deal for the young immigrants protected by the DACA program. But he said that “Mexico has got to help us at the border, and a lot of people are coming in because they want to take advantage of DACA.”
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, gave protected status to hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. The program requires immigrants to have resided in the United States since 2007, meaning any crossing the border now would not be eligible.
Under the guidelines of the DACA program, individuals were able to request DACA status if they were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, came to the U.S. before turning 16 and continuously lived in the country since June 15, 2007. Individuals also had to have a high school diploma, GED certification, been honorably discharged from the military or still be in school. Recipients could not have a criminal record.
One thing is quite apparent, this president has a real problem getting his facts straight and continues to distort the truth for personal benefit. Trump insists on saying that people are flowing into the country to take advantage of the DACA program. But, that’s an outright lie. Newcomers would not be eligible for the program because Trump ended it. And, as for the president blaming Democrats for DACA, that’s also false, as Democrats and Republicans have both offered proposals to save Dreamers from deportation, but Trump has rejected those plans time again.
Truth be told, Trump’s latest tweet barrage and tough talk on immigration is nothing more than a subliminal message to his base that he hasn’t forgotten his campaign promise to build a wall; coupled by his delusion that we need more border security. However, in the final analysis, you can always tell when Trump is misrepresenting the truth: He’s either tweeting or moving his lips.