Washington: Former US President Barack Obama said that a shadow has been cast over thousands of immigrants with the end of the DACA program, which protected from deportation some 800,000 undocumented young people, and slammed the decision taken by his successor Donald Trump, as “cruel” and “wrong”.
“That shadow has been cast over some of our best and brightest young people once again. To target these young people is wrong…and it is cruel,” said Obama, who enacted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012 by executive order.
In his opinion, Trump’s decision to rescind DACA and pass the responsibility along to Congress is a “political decision”, Efe news reported.
“Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us,” Obama said in the note posted on his Facebook page.
For that reason, the former president said that the question of “Dreamers”, as undocumented youths who came to the US as children are known, is ultimately “about basic decency”.
“This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated,” he said.
“It’s about who we are as a people — and who we want to be,” said Obama, who left the White House in January of this year after first being elected president in 2009.
This morning, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions officially announced the decision, though he added that the suspension of DACA will become effective in six months, during which time Congress must find an alternative solution.