Donald Trump proclaimed Sunday, September 3, 2017 as National Day of Prayer. And on that same day, he announced that he intends to end DACA with a 6-month delay period of time. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It is the executive order that President Obama signed in June, 2012 which protected and allowed undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children to be granted work permits. It does not cover all young undocumented immigrants brought here, as it has a cut-off age and other requirements.
800,000 undocumented young persons are believed to be covered under DACA. Trump had earlier stated that he had a “great heart” in terms of DACA and those young persons covered under it. On Sunday’s National Day of Prayer, he showed where his real great heart lay. He announced ending DACA on the same day he asked people to pray.
Over 91% of individuals under DACA are employed or attending school. They are mostly law-abiding individuals. They are our neighbors, co-workers, friends, colleagues, students and family members. They traveled to the U.S. illegally through no fault of their own. They are often referred to as Dreamers who have earned their place in our society and are contributing to it.
During Hurricane Harvey, one Dreamer, Alonso Guillen, a recipient under DACA, lost his life as he was trying to save the lives of others during the flooding. Rescue volunteer Guillen, a 31 year old disc jockey, insisted on helping those in the floods in his neighborhood of Cyprus Creek. After helping others, he was swept away and his body was discovered by his family on Sunday.
I don’t know what Trump prayed for or who he prayed to on his self-proclaimed National Day of Prayer. I prayed for humanity, empathy, compassion and fairness in our leaders and for our country. Donald Trump has been on the wrong side of humanity, empathy, compassion and fairness ever since taking office and even before.
Trump supports white supremacists in the White House and Neo-Nazis shown killing Heather Heyer on the streets of Charlottesville. He supports and pardons Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio, an Arizona sheriff for 24 years, abused the criminal justice system in treating Hispanics as sub-human in his jail. Arpaio is known for being one of the most corrupt and abusive sheriffs in America. He sparked fear in Hispanics by unlawfully targeting and detaining them, holding them in cruel and sub-humane conditions. Trump started his term with an illegal Muslim travel ban to the U.S. At every turn these last 8 months, Trump has been on the wrong side of justice and fairness.
We must stand as a nation with Dreamers. We are all dreamers of the American dream. While many of us were born in this country, most of us were not born with a multi- million-dollar inheritance like Mr. Trump. And most immigrants are not able to marry a millionaire like Melania Trump and remain here.
We must diligently work and pray for the Dreamers to remain. I pray that all Dreamers will be allowed to remain in this country. Mostly, I pray for Donald Trump under Psalms 109:8 which reads: “May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership.”