MUIR: When people learn of the news of this wall today there are gonna be a lot of people listening to this. And I wanna ask about undocumented immigrants who are here—in this country. Right now they're protected as so-called DREAMers—the children who were brought here, as you know, by their parents. Should they be worried—that they could be deported? And is there anything you can say to assure them right now that they'll be allowed to stay?Trump never made an explicit promise, but he did say DREAMers "shouldn't be very worried" and that only "really bad people" were his priority.
TRUMP: They shouldn't be very worried. They are here illegally. They shouldn't be very worried. I do have a big heart. We're going to take care of everybody. We're going to have a very strong border. We're gonna have a very solid border. Where you have great people that are here that have done a good job, they should be far less worried. We'll be coming out with policy on that over the next period of four weeks.
MUIR: But Mr. President, will they be allowed to stay?
TRUMP: I'm gonna tell you over the next four weeks. But I will tell you, we're looking at this, the whole immigration situation, we're looking at it with great heart. Now we have criminals that are here. We have really bad people that are here. Those people have to be worried 'cause they're getting out. We're gonna get them out. We're gonna get 'em out fast.
It was bullshit. This administration is coming after immigrants across the board with a gross, white supremacist, nativist agenda. There is no "looking at it with great heart." There is only relentless pursuit.
And so yesterday, 23-year-old DREAMer Juan Manuel Montes [video may autoplay at link] was deported to Mexico, within three hours of being unable to produce his ID, because he'd left his wallet in a friend's car and was not allowed to retrieve it.
After spending an evening with his girlfriend in Calexico, Calif., on Feb. 17, Juan Manuel Montes, 23, who has lived in the U.S. since age 9, grabbed a bite and was waiting for a ride when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer approached and started asking questions.Nothing should have happened. Montes has only known the United States as his home since he was 9 years old. He was not doing anything wrong when he was approached by a CBP officer, and he did not break the law by leaving his wallet in a friend's car.
Montes was twice granted deportation protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by President Barack Obama and left intact by [Donald] Trump.
Montes had left his wallet in a friend's car, so he couldn't produce his ID or proof of his DACA status and was told by agents he couldn't retrieve them. Within three hours, he was back in Mexico, becoming the first undocumented immigrant with active DACA status deported by the Trump administration's stepped-up deportation policy.
"Some people told me that they were going to deport me; others said nothing would happen," Montes told USA TODAY in his aunt and uncle's home in western Mexico where he's been staying. "I thought that if I kept my nose clean nothing would happen."
This is a sickening abuse. It sends a sinister message to other DREAMers, to undocumented immigrants, and to recent immigrants, especially if they are people of color. And it sends a hostile message to people considering immigrating to the United States.
The "America First" white supremacist isolationism masquerading as "populism" has always been ugly, each time it's reared its despicable head. But in 2017, in an era of globalism in every way, from interconnected economies to interconnected individuals whose relationships span borders, it's as foolish as it is cruel.
Trump's nativism is a self-inflicted wound to the nation. And the longer it festers, the harder it will be for us to recover.
This is not the way I want my country to treat immigrants and refugees. It is bad policy, and, most importantly, it is colossally indecent.