On a normal Wednesday I’d been unpacking yesterday’s fiction piece, but this is not a normal Wednesday. It’s not normal because yesterday the President of the United States rescinded an executive order which prevented the children of undocumented immigrants, brought into this country through no fault of their own, from being deported. It was a order which allowed them to work, attend school, serve in the military, and pay taxes for the privilege 1. DACA didn’t steal from anyone, it told children who grew up here, “You are American.”
There are a number of people who are saying this move is merely the correction of executive overreach, passing the ball back into the hands of congress to come up with a final solution. And, indeed, when President Obama signed the order he affirmed DACA could not be a permanent solution. Rather, it relied on prosecutorial discretion to free these Americans from the shadow of uncertainty and fear. Such a move has precedent in American History, it’s called The Emancipation Proclamation. And it too needed to have a permanent solution moved through Congress before whatever hope it offered was overruled. In some ways the future of these Dreamers is back in the hands of the legislative body, where even President Obama would have rather it had been settled in the first place.
The problem is, the American Congress lacks the moral will to do the right thing for these Americans. During President Obama’s first term obstructionism blocked efforts to give him a “win” on immigration. And the climate hasn’t changed. There are too many members in Congress who either lack the moral fiber to recognize right from wrong, or who are too afraid of touching a “third rail” issue and risk losing their seats in the halls of power 2.
What a mess.
Here’s the thing, I don’t think this has anything to do with the Americans President Trump has transformed into a poker chip. This is about his anger at the Republican members of Congress who have not achieved his agenda. He knows they can’t succeed in passing a solution for the Dreamers, and when Congress fails to act he can tweet “I told you so” at the country and claim he had nothing to do with it. So when the window closes it won’t be his fault nothing got done. It doesn’t matter if he could have made this a legislative priority without rescinding the order. It doesn’t matter if he’s the one who slammed the window on everyone’s fingers before blaming them for failing to move out of the way. It doesn’t matter how many lives he destroys in the process. What matters is, President Trump will get to lash out at people he doesn’t like. And if by some slim chance Congress does succeed he can claim he was the one who forced them to get it done. What matters is President Trump will be #1 in ratings.
I cannot make my sentiments about this situation any more clear than this, this is a political move spawned from the depths of hell. It is evil. As a disciple of Jesus Christ I am compelled to repent of this evil action done in my name 3. And, as his disciple, when offered a choice between being a witness for Jesus’ Kingdom and bowing to unjust law there is no competition. My life is not my own, it belongs to Christ. I stand with him, and he stands with the Dreamers.
Lord, save us from ourselves.
- By the way, the myth undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes is a blatant lie. Many file for tax-payer ID’s so they can pay taxes. They are in fact proud to pay taxes. ↩
- Which, frankly, says a great deal about their constituents. by “constituents” I mean, “The people who give them money.” ↩
- If you’re a US citizen you can claim “45 is not my president” all you want, but it doesn’t change reality. This action has been done in your name, and we should feel dirty because of it. ↩