Dreamers slam Trump’s “White Supremacist Ransom Note”
AP

WASHINGTON—The top organization for the “Dreamers” — the undocumented people brought to the U.S. when they were kids — slammed GOP President Donald Trump’s “Framework on Immigration Reform & Border Security” as a “white supremacist ransom note.”

And the scheme, unveiled at the White House while Trump was on his way to hobnob with international elites in Davos, Switzerland, also drew scorn from backers of the Dreamers, including the Service Employees, Sen. Catherine Cortez Musto, D-Nev., who is the first-ever Latina U.S. senator, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

“How crazy is this?” the Bricklayers asked in a tweet.

“Let’s call this proposal for what it is: A white supremacist ransom note,” said Greisa Martinez Rosas, advocacy director of United We Dream.

“Trump and (top aide) Stephen Miller killed DACA and created the crisis immigrant youth are facing. They have taken immigrant youth hostage, pitting us against our own parents, Black immigrants and our communities in exchange for our dignity,” she said, referring to the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. That program includes some 690,000 Dreamers.

“To Miller and Trump’s white supremacist proposal, immigrant youth say: No.”

Key features of Trump’s scheme include a 10-12-year path to eventual citizenship for Dreamers – number unspecified – if they are working, in school and have “good moral character.” Deportation would occur in cases of “criminal conduct, for public safety or national security concerns, public charge, fraud, etc.”

The framework does not define “etc.” It also included “red meat” language for Trump’s nativist base, describing one method of dealing with migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border as a “catch-and-release program,” for example.

Trump also wants a $25 billion trust fund for “enhanced security enhancements,” including his Mexican Wall and – for the first time – higher security on the Canada-U.S. border. And he would beef up the Border Patrol against what he calls “increased illegal immigration.”

Federal data show immigration, legal and undocumented combined, fell to its lowest level in at least a decade and there has been net outmigration over the Mexican border for at least a year.

Trump would also ban current U.S. residents and green card holders from bringing in family members other than spouses and minor children, and dump a diversity visa lottery system.

“Our fear, our pain, and our lives must not be used to shackle our parents and ban those seeking refuge,” Martinez Rosas responded. “We must not be used to tear apart the moral fabric of this country.”

“Any politician who backs up this ransom note is enabling Trump and Miller’s white supremacist agenda.

The unions and lawmakers were similarly caustic. Service Employees Executive Vice President Rocio Saenz called Trump’s framework “callous and racist.”

“It uses Dreamers as bait to demand funding for an unnecessary and wasteful wall at the expense of working people. After everything that Trump has done and said about Muslims, immigrants and people of color, Trump and his administration have finally found a way to make their anti-immigrant and nativist wish list come to fruition.

“Members of Congress now face a moment of truth: stand with Trump’s racist policies and viewpoints or stand with hardworking immigrant families who contribute so much to our nation. Time is running out for Dreamers and for our immigrant sisters and brothers with Temporary Protected Status. History is watching and we demand Congress do the right thing: Get to work and pass a bipartisan Dream Act and keep families together,” Saenz concluded.

“Trump destroyed DACA, threatened Dreamers with detention and deportation, and is using that threat to enact his hardline immigration policies,” said Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

“We cannot allow the lives of young people who have done everything right to be used as bargaining chips for sweeping anti-immigrant policies. The White House is using Dreamers to mask their underlying xenophobic, isolationist, and un-American policies, which will harm millions of immigrants living in the United States and millions of others who want to legally immigrate and contribute to our country.

“It is shameful the White House is demanding such extreme concessions that have wide-ranging, negative consequences in order to protect Dreamers, given that nearly 90% of Americans want these young people to continue to contribute to the only country they have ever known.  President Trump is not just trying to shakedown congressional Democrats; he is trying to shakedown the American people.”

“Trump wants to use Dreamers as bargaining chips to advance his anti-immigrant and xenophobic policies that will harm our country for generations to come,” Cortez Masto, the nation’s first-ever Latina U.S. senator, tweeted.

“Our nation was built by immigrants. We cannot turn our backs on them,” she concluded.


CONTRIBUTOR

Mark Gruenberg
Mark Gruenberg

Mark Gruenberg is head of the Washington, D.C., bureau of People's World. He is also the editor of Press Associates Inc. (PAI), a union news service in Washington, D.C. that he has headed since 1999. Previously, he worked as Washington correspondent for the Ottaway News Service, as Port Jervis bureau chief for the Middletown, NY Times Herald Record, and as a researcher and writer for Congressional Quarterly. Mark obtained his BA in public policy from the University of Chicago and worked as the University of Chicago correspondent for the Chicago Daily News.

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