DACA, WHAT IS IT?
- The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was an American immigration policy established by the Obama Administration in June 2012 that allowed some individuals who entered the country as minors, and had either entered or remained in the country illegally, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work permit.
- As of 2017, approximately 800,000 individuals were enrolled in the program created by DACA. Plans to begin phasing it out were initiated by the Trump Administration in September 2017. (WICKPEDIA)
- Just this past week, on 2/15/18, the Senate put 4 immigration bills up for a vote, and they all failed. The lawmakers couldn’t find a path forward to fix DACA.
- The typical ‘Dreamer’ Lives in Los Angeles, is from Mexico and came to the U.S. at age 6. And in fact more dreamers come from Mexico than from all other “dreamer” countries combined. (No dreamers, President Trump, in case you didn’t know it, come from Norway.)
- The 1.8 million Dreamers, Trump’s number, not all “kids” any more, have been living and working in our country to their benefit and ours, some of them for as long as 10 or more years. And they haven’t yet, all while having known no other country but ours, been accepted as citizens!
- And what do the Americans think of the Dreamers? According to a CBS News poll almost 9 in 10 respondents — 87 percent, or an overwhelming majority of Americans — supports legal protections for the Dreamers. The majority of Americans believe that the Dreamers should be allowed to remain in the U.S. if they meet certain requirements, such as working, going to school,
- Because of the Dreamers and, millions of others like them, America is heading toward the day when whites will no longer make up the majority of the population. And in fact within just a few years, by 2020, more than half of the nation’s children will come from a minority race or ethnic group. (This may very well be what most drives the white supremacists, the nativists, the bigots and other such among us, including many the conservative Republican Senators and Congressmen, to oppose amnesty and citizenship for the Dreamers.)
A few thoughts but no conclusions as of yet:
Trump’s wall is not from real security concerns. There is no real evidence to back up his position that the present mostly non-walled border on the South puts us all at risk. (OK, I know, real evidence for Trump’s opinions, mostly seen as tweets, is rarely if ever present whatever might be his subject.)
So farTrump, and the others who for some reason go along with him, conservative Senators such as Cornyn of Texas, Perdue of Georgia, Lankford of Oklahoma, Cotton of Arkansas and Grassley of Iowa, even the Senate and House leaders, McConnell and Ryan themselves, who should know better, only employ the term dreamer as a public relations ploy. Do they really think of these illegal children of illegals as “dreamers”? What’s really on their minds are not the dreamers that the liberal press refers to but the Mexicans and other Central Americans who make up the millions of both legal and illegal immigrants within the country. They continue to say dreamer because anything else would probably reveal them, if not as racists, certainly as the white supremacists that they probably are. No less than President Trump himself they want the immigration issue to be reduced to the construction of a wall protecting our Southern border, and not be about them and their bigotry.
All this brings me to the great and real question, what is our country all about? And more important what should it be all about? In respect to what we are should we accept, should we already have accepted the dreamers. Well you know my answer to that question is yes. In regard to what our country is all about there are any number of candidate “answers” to this question, although as of now there is no single agreed upon correct answer. Furthermore, today we may be no closer to the answer than we were at the time of our nation’s foundation in the 18th. century. We may be even further away from answering it.
But there are three answers, all well-known, that have been around at least since our beginning. There is, now located primarily within the conservative Right, the saying or motto, In God We Trust. What is our country all about? Well trusting in God, in Jesus. For many this answer is enough, and they live by it. In 1956 President Eisenhower and the Congress declared together that “In God We Trust” be our national motto, and immediately be engraved on all our currency. (For then, as now, God and money were what the country is most about.) Today, of course this solution, trust in God written on the currency (not forgetting to pass the ammunition), would need considerable revision, for we no longer use currency as we did earlier, right up until the 21st century. In fact, we may very well live our lives without ever noticing that trust in God has been stamped onto our coins and bills.
Has Donald Trump noticed this? Perhaps, and that’s why he would show off everywhere his trust in God. And thereby harden the support of his base. For he knows that his base is largely made up of God lovers like himself. Among all our presidents Trump is certainly a great talker, and may very soon start talking, or rather tweeting about putting, say, In God We Trust on the billboards in Trump Country, in Texas and Florida certainly, as well as in the heartland states where the electoral college voting made him our 45th president (although as we’re told, only the 44th. male to hold the office).
Then there is this answer to what we’re all about, and this answer more in the mainstream, enshrined in the words of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” And enshrined right up there with Jefferson’s words are the words of Abraham Lincoln’s, following the battle of Gettysburg, probably inspired by the Declaration: “…a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” What’s the country all about? Achieving equality, and this struggle with both the word and the idea equality continues to go on at a brisk pace. And of course it’s not over.
And there is a third candidate/answer, this one now showing up mostly on the liberal Left, at the moment out of power but trying desperately to make itself heard again throughout Trump and God country. This answer is the familiar E pluribus unum. This one dating from at least as early as 1782 when our forefathers were fashioning a new country. E pluribus unum is Latin for “Out of many, one.” — one being the Union formed by the many, or the states or colonies coming together to make a single nation. It too was adopted, in 1776, as a national motto and is now found on the Great Seal of the United States as well as, like “In God We Trust,” on our currency.
To day our country is being factionized, torn apart by factions of all kinds, although principally by the factions of religious zealots on the one hand, and on the other the factions of secular forces marshaled behind science and reason. We’re now fighting less over the idea of equality, although by no means is that struggle over, but much more over the struggle between the God people and what I call the people people, between religion and science, between dogma and discovery, between those who would keep the whites in power (make the country great again), as if the country belonged to the descendants of the first white settlers and their children, and not to the descendants of the original native Americans, nor to the tens of millions of African Americans, nor to the still more numerous descendants of the successive waves of immigrants to our shores.
The almost civil war in the country today is well summed up as a still mostly civil struggle between two armies, those adhering to “In God We Trust” and those no less adhering to “E pluribus unum,” both ironically together engraved upon our coinage and bills. This is the war between the religious and conservative Right and the secular and liberal Left, and the war among our recent presidents between Donald Trump and Barack Obama.
The struggle over immigration always with us does seem to be heating up. People are more and more afraid, afraid of the other, of the new, of what they don’t know. There have been times when God and the successive waves of Immigrants to our shores were not in opposition, but together in our hearts and minds, but that’s not true today. And the virulent opposition between Trump’s children and the children of the 18th. century Enlightenment is why the DACA children and adults are now in a kind of limbo, waiting for a decision from our leaders that does not seem to be forthcoming.
Instead of compromising, having just rejected those efforts promoting compromise or a middle ground in the Senate, the politicians are lining up behind one or the other mantra, behind in God we Trust and E pluribus unum.. Of course it’s the In God we trust thing that explains why Trump continues to receive the full support of the Evangelicals, the God people, even when his own well known gutter morality has been on display for the longest time.
And then there’s the religious Right, led by such as Rep. Michele Bachmann and the Congressional Prayer Caucus, who now see E Pluribus Unum as almost un American. Indeed, the Prayer Caucus, the leading voice of religious conservatism on Capitol Hill, recently wrote a letter to President Barack Obama, chastising him for having made favorable references to the other motto, E Pluribus Unum, their letter referred to Obama’s reference to E Pluribus Unum as an anti-God statement.
The meaning of E Pluribus Unum is simply that we are stronger if we get together and work together. Why don’t we accept that today, as we have in the past? Now the many Mexicans here illegally would like to stay and work, would like to join us (many of them already have!) Why don’t we accept them with open arms, as we’ve so many times before accepted the immigrants, all different from ourselves, to our shores?
We no longer seem to know, something we’ve always known, that if we would change things for the better we just have to get together and become as one. We know that out of the many comes one. We just know that the populations of communities, — religious or secular — have to act as one if they would accomplish their goals. And we know that apparently opposed national mottos, In God we Trust and E pluribus unum, have to lessen the apparent opposition between them and somehow come together, as they have already done so, on our coins and bills.
The motto E Pluribus Unum was selected by Charles Thomson in 1782 when he created the final Great Seal whose centerpiece is the American bald Eagle:
“…in his beak a scroll, inscribed with this Motto: “E pluribus unum…”