On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in what was likely a dream come true for him personally, announced that the Trump administration was going to rescind DACA, often called the Dreamer Act. If popular vote loser Donald Trump had had the backbone to make the announcement himself, we’d no doubt be doing a fact check of all the lies he told. But, since it was Sessions’ rodeo, it’s Sessions’ lies we’re going to look at, via Politifact:
Jeff Sessions Claim: DACA ‘essentially provided a legal status for recipients’
FACT CHECK: It’s not accurate to say that DACA granted legal status to recipients, because the government repeatedly said it did not.
“Current law does not grant any legal status for the class of individuals who are current recipients of DACA,” the Department of Homeland Security said Sept. 5 in information posted after the administration’s decision to rescind the program.
When the Obama administration rolled out the program, it was specific that it was offering only a temporary reprieve from deportation, not legal status, and it continued to repeat that description over the years. “As long as you have not committed a crime, our limited immigration enforcement resources are not focused on you,” Obama said in 2016.
Jeff Sessions Claim: DACA provided ‘unilateral executive amnesty’
FACT CHECK: This is not as settled as Sessions said. Experts disagree on whether DACA recipients are getting amnesty.
Some believe amnesty is granted whenever the law is set aside and expected penalties, such as deportation for being in the country unlawfully, are waived.
Others say DACA does not have the same outcomes as the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which is commonly considered amnesty. The 1986 law paved the way for immigrants who were in the country illegally to become lawful permanent residents if they met certain requirements, including being in the country by Jan. 1, 1982.
DACA, by contrast, has been subject to revocation and not conducive to lawful status.
Jeff Sessions Claims: DACA, ‘among other things, contributed to a surge of minors at the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences.
FACT CHECK: This is a stretch at best. We rated the statement Mostly False.
An August 2016 Congressional Research Service report concluded that gang-related violence, poverty and lack of educational and employment opportunities in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras played a key role in children’s decisions to leave their homes on their own and cross illegally into the United States.
“We believe what has largely motivated migration of unaccompanied minors and families from Central America has been a combination of ‘push’ factors — violence, instability and endemic poverty in Central America — coupled with ‘pull’ factors — a desire to reunite with family in the U.S. and an understanding that people from Central America presenting themselves at the border would be allowed in, pending review of their case in immigration court,” said Michelle Mittelstadt, a spokeswoman for the Migration Policy Institute, which is generally favorable toward immigration.
Jeff Sessions Claims: DREAMers took jobs from Americans.
Sessions said, “It denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs.”
FACT CHECK: This one is patently false. It’s a basic principle of American economics. Immigrants allow Americans to take higher paying jobs and complement their labor. Basic history and even recent studies both support that immigration is a huge boost to the American work force.
The worst part of Sessions argument, was when he said ending DACA will be good for immigrants. Sessions said it “will enable our country to more effectively teach new immigrants about our system of government and to assimilate them.” This idea is rooted in the theory that anything the government does that’s helpful, allows future immigrants to break the law. They think this is “sending a message.” The problem here is that DACA protects those who are already settled here not those coming across the border illegally now.
The kicker here is that Sessions was on his way out less than a month ago, and suddenly Trump has him out there trying to argue for Trump’s horrible decision. Sessions is sucking up to Trump with this one and Trump is most definitely trying to not take the fall for his ignorant and un-American approach to this immigration issue.