I don’t even want to talk about DACA because it’s a total disaster. It’s one of the worst, most shameful parts of Obama’s legacy. He left us stuck with this horror show and should just keep very quiet about it right now instead of making condescending noises about “young strivers.”

In effect, DACA turned 800,000 people into pawns for the Democrats to use in shady dealings of all kinds whenever it’s convenient, as we’ve seen today. Keeping people suspended, uncertain, always dependent on the possibility of yet another short-term extension is a cruel and unusual punishment that is completely immoral. How can anybody, a young person especially, live like this? Imagine not being able to make any kind of plan, any strategy of your own life. This is horrible. 

The strivers part just about did me in. You make people arrive in perpetuity, dangling the rotten carrot of another short-term bit of mercy for ever and ever. And then get on a high horse and go all self-congratulating on the very people you are screwing over. 

Americans! Make up your minds. Fucking make a decision already. Stop supporting the inhuman and cruel DACA and let these 800,000 human beings just live their lives without having to beg you for something every couple of years.

Fuck DACA. Fuck deferred action. Enough deferring. Enough. 

32 thoughts on “DACA

  1. I feel like you just described H1-B visas. Or do you feel like it’s substantially different because we’re talking about children who grew up here? It seems very similar to the oft-introduced DREAM Act


    1. N had am H1-B and he’s getting naturalized in a couple of months. This was never a hopeless process where he was stuck between Earth and hell.

      But of course, the fact that these were children who never decided to emigrate makes it all egregious. For a grown-up, immigration is part of life strategy. For these kids, it’s like a phenomenon of nature.



  2. Despite the hysterical reaction to Trump’s decision by the Democrats and just about every so-called liberal in sight (e.g., Tom Brokaw saying that Trump has declared war on all Hispanics), Trump may have actually done the “Dreamers” a favor.

    If Trump hadn’t issued his ruling by the 5th of September, multiple state attorney generals were prepared to go to court in a mass lawsuit claiming that Obama’s executive order was an unconstitutional over-reach — and if a federal court had agreed with them, DACA would have been terminated instantly, with no six-month grace period allowing congress the opportunity to pass definitive immigration law.


  3. I have the idea that this is just the beginning. Fluidity and liquid capital means large groups of people are going to be put into untenable positions and then used as bargaining chips by larger more powerful players in very ugly ways.

    And Facebook and Twitter (all online activism) is kind of a pressure valve so that people release their fury on line and then don’t really act on it.


    1. Trump-schmump, Obama-schmobama. There needs to be collective will for things to happen. If there’s overwhelming collective will, whatever it is will happen. In this particular case, the collective will is very very clearly to keep these young people suspended in the air as a reminder that somebody is in a much worse shape in terms of fluidity. They are a living, breathing psychological crutch.

      And I hate this.


  4. OT (sort of) Are you familiar with Phillip Mirowski? I don’t know about his published scholarship but I’ve been listening to really fascinating speeches of his on the history and functioning of neoliberals and neoliberalism.

    Very unsettling stuff.


  5. You make it sound like it was an intentional decision on Obama’s part to keep people perpetually in legal limbo, rather than the best he was able to do given the situation.

    Giving them citizenship would have required getting a bill through congress, and Boehner wouldn’t even let an immigration bill come up for a vote.

    Do you think it would have been better if Obama had done nothing to help them?



      1. So in the face of a Republican controlled congress that refused to even bring an immigration bill up for a vote, and constitutional limits on what a president can do by executive order, what would you have done?

        Was there a solution that others couldn’t see?

        To be clear, I’m not arguing that DACA was a good solution, I just don’t understand what else was better given the circumstances.

        I also tend to be in the “incremental progress is still progress” camp. Now that DACA is ending, huge portions of the country, including many Republicans, think it is cruel and wrong to take away the small bit of security these people didn’t have five years ago, in my mind this opens the door to build on and expand that security.


        1. Obama worked with a Dem congress in the first two years of his 1st term, didn’t he? There have been many opportunities to repair this horror show. And nothing was done.

          I’m an immigrant. And so is my husband. Each one of us was threatened by deportation under Obama. If DACA is security in your eyes, you probably don’t understand what in immigrant experiences.


          1. See my comment below for a response to your first point.

            I didn’t say it was great security, simply more than existed previously. Being able to work legally, or go to school without fear of immediate deportation is clearly more security than having to always work under the table with the risk of an unscrupulous employer threatening to call ICE if you don’t accept every bit of crap they want to dump on you.

            There is certainly a lot of criticism that you can lob at Obama over immigration without having to resort to conspiracies about how Dems want to keep illegal immigrants in limbo in perpetuity to gain political advantage.

            I think it was shameful that deportations went up during Obama’s first term, I think it was a naive calculus that he made that if he worked to assuage the concerns Republicans had over illegal immigration that they would be willing to work constructively with Democrats to naturalize those that were already in the US, but this seems more like a failure to grasp just how venal Republicans were than a deliberate attempt to screw over immigrants.


  6. Obama couldn’t get anything passed thru Congress to fix it, so
    your anger is misplaced.

    But thanks to Trump for making more Latinos look towards the Democrats from now on.


    1. In the first two years of his first term, Obama worked with a Dem Congress.

      God, wake up already. This is no mishap or accident. This is all done on purpose. There is no meaningful immigration reform on purpose. The immigration system is such a mess on purpose.


      1. I think you mis-remember the situation during Obama’s first two years.

        Due to a dispute over the results, Al Franken was not sworn into congress until sometime in June, and not long after that Teddy Kennedy died and was replace by a Republican. This meant that the Democrats had a filibuster proof majority in Congress for about six weeks during the summer, much of which was when they were in recess.

        Perhaps if Obama could have seen into the future and known how small a window he had to work with, he might have tackled it when he had the chance, but since we can’t visit alternate timelines, we will never know.


          1. I think nobody wants DACA instead of a road to naturalization, but that removing DACA is unacceptable if it means deporting people because of choices their parents made.

            Nice deflection, 8/10.


              1. I am absolutely for naturalizing the dreamers, and their parents, and frankly, any other undocumented immigrants. I’m not supporting DACA because it is convenient, but because it is possible.

                What do you think the chances are of a immigration bill that gives citizenship to the dreamers making it through this congress? Does somewhere around 0% sound right to you? (Not that Dems shouldn’t be pushing for one regardless of its chances.)


              2. Oh, it’s less than zero. But not only because the Congress is red. It’s also because there is no evidence that there is massive support for naturalization.


              3. I agree with you there. Hopefully, seeing the overall reaction to Trump ending DACA, Americans will now see that leaving all these people in a situation where their legal status depends upon the goodwill of whichever party is in power is an untenable situation and public attitudes will begin to change.

                Liked by 1 person

              4. Who on the left would prefer DACA to a path for naturalization?

                OTOH, if lefties and others are being realistic that the chances of the Republican majority Congress and Cheetolini passing such laws are zero to none, that is realism.


              5. As I said several times, I believe everybody prefers to keep these young people hanging like a symbolic cushion against fluidity. As I also said, DACA is the border for the lefties.

                I think you are not even trying to hear what I’m saying.


      2. Actually, with the delayed seating of Sen. Franken and Teddy Kennedy being replaced by a Republican, Obama did not, in fact have 2 years with a Democratic majority in both Houses of Congress. His attempt work with Republicans on the ACA left him bereft of Republican votes when the bill was passed, and to the Republican lie that it was “crammed down the throats of the American people, despite the facts on the ground.

        Yes, but only for 72 days during his first term. Democrats held a 60 seat, filibuster-proof supermajority for only 72 days the in the United States Senate. A full analysis of the changes that occurred in the Senate during the early years of President Obama’s was documented by Andy Cohen of the San Diego Free Press. The article can be found here:


        You really remind me of the young lefties who are enthusiastic about the cause but have, as a friend of mine from NYC put it, the inability to distinguish shit from Shinola(shoe polish).


        1. It sounds like you are much more outraged with me than with the inhuman situation where 800,000 young people are kept in limbo and permanently terrified that their lives will be upended. If we all turn our attention towards how horrible this situation is, how completely inexcusable it is, maybe something will start happening. If there’s collective shock and outrage over the deeply cynical nature of DACA, the Democrats will be forced to come up with something better. Let’s make them.


          1. The Democrats have a minority in both Houses of Congress. To propose that they can go against the majority in this session of Congress and ram thru a bill that the Cheetolini would sign is an admission of political naïveté.


            1. You don’t need a majority in Congress to say “I support citizenship” in Facebook. That’s all I’m asking for right now. It’s the extent of the hugely onerous task I’m hoping people would undertake. And even that I can’t get.

              Please don’t make me laugh with these appeals to Congress troubles. Why would politicians do anything for voters aren’t even trying to ask for?


              1. I’m a philologist. I analyze language patterns. As I have now said half a dozen times, the speech patterns people use to discuss DACA demonstrate that they have zero interest in giving these immigrants citizenship. Because if they did have it, they would use the vocabulary of naturalization, citizenship, permanence, residency.

                Is it clearer now?


              2. Of course, there are other methods of supporting citizenship in a way that denies your entire message. For instance, adding “I’m for open borders” does the trick. It’s like “and world peace” added by a beauty queen that completely wiped out everything said before and turns it into a joke.


              3. I’m sorry, but what you see as a patten of philology is political realism. Any Republican voting for a path from DACA to naturalization would be painting a target on his/her back for the primary season on 2018.

                “An idealist is one, who, noting that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes it would make a superior soup.”


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