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Mike Littwin

"The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handles."

Littwin: Shutting down DACA would be an entirely Trump-made disaster

Littwin: Shutting down DACA would be an entirely Trump-made disaster

Here’s a guess. Even Donald Trump knows that shutting down the DACA program, as he’s strongly hinted he would, would be a disaster, both personal (for the Dreamers and their families) and political (for him).

I mean, the reaction to the Fox News report that Trump was ready to end the program was, in language Trump can understand, full of fire and fury. This was perfectly predictable. All he had to do was pick up any poll — Americans overwhelmingly believe Dreamers should have, at minimum, legal status — or read anything not written by Tom Tancredo.

Or he could turn on the shows. Colorado’s own Mike Coffman, whose history on immigration is, let’s say, inconsistent, made national headlines saying he would go back to Congress next week and try to force a vote on his Bridge Act bill — which would protect Dreamers for three years —whether leadership liked it or not. It was either a bold move or a desperate move or both. Coffman, who once called Tancredo his hero, has been working hard to live down that past in his politically diverse district.

But Coffman’s move is looking shrewder by the minute. Speaker Paul Ryan is also now saying that Trump should not end DACA and that Congress should fix the problem, meaning that if Trump does end DACA, he could be facing another major rebuke. All that’s required for Ryan to move forward is to find a bill that a majority of House Republicans wouldn’t oppose or to count on Democrats to help him pass one.

OK, nothing is sure here. We know immigration is not an easy issue and illegal immigration is even trickier. But the Dreamer problem, which shouldn’t be a problem at all, is the ultimate no-brainer in politics — nearly as easy as, say, knowing you should always condemn neo-Nazis or any other kind of Nazis.

Democrats have, of course, been quick to respond. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, while signing a bill that would further pit Denver against ICE and the Trump Administration, would say on Thursday, “Mr. President, leave our DACA children alone.”

The next morning, John Hickenlooper and Jared Polis and others spoke to a DACA rally at the state capitol. But it was Monica Acosta, who came to the United States when she was 3, who stole the show. Her mother, she says, was deported 12 years ago and the stress now is triggering memories of her family being torn apart.

So as she wakes up every day, she takes her anxiety medicine and then googles Trump and DACA, knowing that soon she could again join the ranks of those described as  undocumented.

“The full descriptor, however, is undocumented and unafraid and unapologetic,” ” Acosta said to a cheering crowd.

That’s what Acosta is facing. And that’s what Trump is facing.

Dreamers are, of course, those brought to the United States as children, who have grown up as Americans, who, for the most part, know no other country. There are as many as 800,000 of them in America, as many as 17,000 in Colorado. To think they should be deported, you have to believe that the sins of the fathers or the mothers or aunts or uncles or grandparents or coyotes should be visited upon, well, the entirely innocent children.

The Dreamers should be a separate issue from illegal immigration. Whatever you think of those who decided to risk everything to cross a border without documents in search of a better life, the Dreamers’ only decision was to follow along.

Seriously, who could object to the Dreamers being allowed to stay exactly where they are?

OK. That wasn’t a serious question. We know who objects — the people who make up the Trump base. The base for whom Trump made his controversial pardon of no-longer-Sheriff Joe Arapaio. The base for whom Trump is insisting on building that border wall. The base that was all in on the neo-Nazi/counterprotester moral equivalency.

It’s a small base. It may be a shrinking base. But it also got Trump elected, and, for reasons both cruel and misguided, the Trumpists do object, as do an unforgivable number of Republican politicians.

And so, Trump ran on ending the program because, well, it was an Obama program and, as he insisted during the campaign, Mexico doesn’t send its best, which apparently extends even to their children. For Trump, it was one of those first-days-in-office promises, like the one to end Obamacare. Except that this one, he could do on his own. So, why hasn’t he?

Because, as he said Friday, “We love the Dreamers. We love everybody.”

OK, he doesn’t love everybody. I know that as one of the fake-news enemies of the people. But he has had nice things to say about Dreamers, because why wouldn’t he? And yet, he’s on the fence (which is not, by the way, the same thing as the wall, which neither Mexico or Congress seems willing to pay for).

If I could bring up a short timeline of Trump thoughts on DACA, it would go this way: end it, end it, end it, really, really end it, maybe don’t end it, I love these kids, there’s nothing for Dreamers to worry about, end it, phase it out, deal with Dreamers with heart, OK, maybe end it after all.

Now Trump says he’ll make a decision over the weekend, or maybe Monday, certainly by Tuesday when a group of Republican attorneys general have threatened to file a lawsuit against DACA. That includes the Texas attorney general, who would file the suit even as his state, home to many tens of thousands of Dreamers, deals with catastrophe that is Harvey.

Harvey is a natural disaster, arguably made worse by human contribution to climate change. Shutting down DACA, though, would be solely a man-made disaster. And, as even the president must know, a completely avoidable one.

 

Lead photo by Evan Semón. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock signs new city law on Aug. 31, 2017 that seek to further protect immigrants residents by, among other things, prohibiting city officials from asking an arrested individual’s immigration status. Inset photo by LaLo Montoya. Dreamer Monica Acosta speaks to a crowd of supporters defending DACA at the Colorado state capitol building on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. 

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About the Author

Mike Littwin

He has covered Dr. J, four presidential inaugurations, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow.
mlittwin@coloradoindependent.com | Twitter @mike_littwin

2 Comments

  1. Will Morrison on said:

    I FULLY expect Two Scoops to do the WRONG thing, no matter WHAT the topic. The man is CONSTANTLY looking for ways to screw up things for anyone he can, and call it a victory. Concern? Love? These are things he doesn’t understand and has no capacity for.

    This man MUST be removed before he can cause even more damage to this country. How on EARTH can the republicans look at the mess he’s making and think this is acceptable? Not to mention what is happening to our reputation and standing around the world. This cannot be allowed to continue.

  2. Don Lopez on said:

    Elections have consequences.

    “Hiding news that doesn’t fit an ideological or a partisan agenda is perhaps the worst form of media bias. And it’s one more reason the public holds the press is such low esteem.” – Investor’s Business Daily

    “(Mr. Trump) won’t be president. He was sliding in the polls before the video, and the video now means that he has no way to climb back. Which independent voter, which suburban woman, which Main Street Republican on the fence is going to vote for Trump now?” – Mike Littwin

    Magical thinking: The belief that one’s own thoughts, wishes, or desires can influence the external world. It is common in very young children. – GoodTherapy.org

    }{

    Mr. Littwin is to journalism what Casey Anthony is to motherhood.

    Mr. Littwin suggests that President Trump was in Texas only to politicize the Hurricane Harvey tragedy while at the same time he is using his column to do the very same thing. There is a word for someone who claims “to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform” (Hint: it rhymes with full of it). And Mr. Littwin certainly is that.

    In his epic, historic and often strange “no other president would” list Mr. Littwin failed to mention this: No other president would pledge $1 million of his own money to victims of a catastrophic and heartbreaking natural event.

    But, by far, the very, very strangest item in Mr. Littwin’s equally strange “no other president would” laundry list is his criticism of (wait for it) the adjectives President Trump used to describe Hurricane Harvey. Here’s the money quote “No other president would say that the storm is “epic” and “historic” and forget to mention “catastrophic” and “heartbreaking.””

    You….can’t….make….this….stuff….up!!

    In August of last year Barack Obama refused to cut short a Martha’s Vineyard golf vacation to visit those affected by catastrophic and heartbreaking flooding in Louisiana that, according to CNN, took the lives of 13 people, damaged 60,000 homes, cost $30 million in damage and was described by the Red Cross as the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy. Knowing how strongly Mr. Littwin believes that “a president’s job description includes consoling a nation in time of tragedy” lets go back to August, 2016 and see how heavily he criticized Barack Obama’s refusal to give up his golf game to console the victims of those catastrophic and heartbreaking Louisiana floods.

    Few would be surprised to learn that not only did Mr. Littwin ignore the flooding but he failed to criticize Obama for continuing to play golf in Martha’s Vineyard while portions of Louisiana were under water from almost 32 inches of rain.

    Apparently Mr. Littwin’s belief that “a president’s job description includes consoling a nation in time of tragedy” does not apply equally to all presidents.

    But here’s something that may surprise, or maybe not, a few people: One member of the mainstream media, Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post, actually attempted to justify Obama’s refusal to truncate his vacation.

    “Obama just doesn’t like to fake it. If he doesn’t want to do something or thinks it’s stupid to do it — regardless of whether it actually is stupid — he won’t do it….
    That’s why Obama won’t break off his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard — or stop playing golf on said vacation — to travel to Louisiana. Because he believes he can monitor the situation as well — or better — from where he is. And that the sole reason to go to Louisiana is for the theatrical piece of politics, a piece that he not only rejects but detests.”

    You can’t make that stuff up, either!!

    Obama had no problem “faking it” in 2012 to visit New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy but, of course, in 2012 he was up for reelection so faking it was a viable option but in 2016 he had nothing on the line and voters got to see—-too late, of course—-the real non-faking it Barack Obama.

    You might wonder—–certainly Mr. Littwin doesn’t—–how Americans felt about President Trump’s response to Hurricane Harvey.

    Well, in a Huffington Post/ YouGov poll “51% approve of the federal government’s handling of Harvey, while 16% disapprove. 42% approve of Trump’s efforts, and 24% disapprove.”

    The over/under on the number of times Mr. Littwin will report the results of that poll is 0.5. I’m betting under.

    And, predictably, Mr. Littwin attempts to conflate Hurricane Harvey with global warming “(President Trump) can’t stop scientists from pointing to climate change and the predictions that storms would become ever more severe.”
    Of course, Mr. Littwin went no further than suggesting a link between Hurricane Harvey and climate change. Had he done so he might have found conflicting opinions that were, well, inconvenient. Like this from The Daily Caller:

    “There is no evidence that global warming is influencing Texas coastal precipitation in the long term and little evidence that warmer than normal temperatures had any real impact on the precipitation intensity from this (Hurricane Harvey) storm,” (University of Washington atmospheric scientist Cliff) Mass wrote.”

    Or this from The Washington Examiner:
    “No serious person believes that climate policy could bring us into a brave new world of fewer hurricanes. And if the number of large hurricanes we get is determined by policy, Trump ought to do whatever George W. Bush did in 2006 that put the brakes on powerful hurricanes for a decade.”

    November 08, 2016

    “’Cause I don’t have no use
    For what you loosely call the truth” – Tina Turner

    Green light a Vet
    Folds of Honor
    Special Operations Warriors Foundation

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