It is difficult, actually it is impossible to understand and describe the feelings of 800,000 young men and women — some of whom are still teenagers — now that they are faced with the senseless cruelty Donald Trump perpetrated against them. They are hundreds of thousands of human beings who have committed no crime, who did not immigrate illegally and willingly, but rather came to the U.S. with their parents or other relatives, who are the ones who actually did come without documents or a residence permit.
These 800,000 human beings have been crushed out of sheer political resentment, out of vengefulness, to keep — or to pretend to keep — an election promise Trump never should have made, had he possessed sensitivity and intelligence and had he thought he would win. That promise was to cancel Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the presidential edict that temporarily bestowed civil rights on those who arrived without documents as children. In exchange, the government asked that these young adults come out of hiding, declare themselves and allow the immigration and national security authorities to investigate them.
Many were mistrustful and remained underground. Others, the 800,000 people in question, chose to come out in the open, to believe in the promise. After all, they were guilty of nothing, not even of illegal immigration, as they were not the ones who chose to cross the border illegally. Therefore, they threw themselves into their daily lives and became citizens for all intents and purposes. The U.S. government reneged on the solemn promise it made when it asked to know all about them in exchange for their legitimization.
Suddenly, they are nothing. These 800,000 human beings are now at the mercy of the authorities and subject to expulsion in six months. That is the end of the waiting period during which Congress is supposed to solve the issue, according to the attorney general (as Trump did not have the courage to make the announcement himself).
It is like the case of a patient being told that he only has six months left. Being expelled and deported to an unknown location is a death sentence for these students, teachers, nurses, carpenters, bricklayers, office workers and technicians. Apple alone employs dozens of betrayed "Dreamers" who were hired with regular contracts and are paid the same as the others.
Congress has been spinning helplessly around the immigration problem for 30 years. The attorney general has so little faith in a legislative solution that he has already urged the 800,000 "Dreamers" to use the time they have left to organize their departure for who knows where, as they have never lived in nor have they known any country other than the United States.
This sophisticated cruelty, this brutality against innocent people is unworthy of a country that has long presented itself as the “shining city upon a hill,” now being darkened by Trump and his voters, xenophobic nativists dressed up as defenders of the rule of law.
Even Trump has come to this realization. A few hours after the announcement he had delegated to his attorney general, a former senator who was rejected as a federal judge because of his known racial prejudice, he tweeted that he will “revisit this issue” if Congress has not solved it in six months. This is a sign that he is already regretting his act, since there would obviously be nothing to “revisit” if the residence permits expired, just as he wanted.
They say that the goal of this iniquity consists in blackmailing the Democrats in Congress by offering to save the lives of those 800,000 people in exchange for the funds to build that great wall that Mexico will never pay for, turning those human beings into hostages to be exchanged for money.
Even in the lives of great democracies like the United States, which elected Trump legally, albeit by a minority, there comes a time when it is inevitable to feel ashamed of a country.
This is one of those moments of shame for the USA. Sad.