By Chinta Strausberg, Chicago Crusader
With President Trump under fire for rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that began under President Obama, one African American faith leader said there is no DREAM Act for Blacks, who are often left out of the immigration discussions. “Empathy is always needed when confronted with personal life-changing matters. The reversal of DACA would be considered in that category,” Dr. Gale B. Frazier, chair of the National Black Agenda Consortium stated.
DACA shielded 800,000 youth who entered the U. S. with their undocumented parents. DACA protected the children, then averaging six-years-old, from being deported.
Frazier made her comments at a time when Trump is under fire by members of his own party for cutting a deal with Democrats to couple hurricane relief aid to an increase in the debt ceiling needed to keep the government funded until the first of December.
With this rare victory under their belts, earlier this week Democrats reached out to Trump asking him to embrace another immigration bill, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) that was first introduced in the Senate on August 1, 2001, by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). That bill failed.
This DREAM Act would ensure a pathway to citizenship. After its failure in 2001, when Obama became president he signed an executive order in 2012 replacing the proposed DREAM act with the DACA program. Most DACA recipients are now adults; many have children who are American citizens.
But Trump rescinded DACA, giving the program six-months, when it is scheduled to die. U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions recently said, “There is no pathway to immigration,” and when he claims that DACA recipients were getting the same benefits as Americans, that was not true. DACA recipients could not get Obamacare, Medicaid, food stamps or cash assistance.
According to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, ending DACA will cost the U.S. government $19.9 billion in Social Security revenue from DACA working adults, but with the media attention usually focused on Hispanics, observers like Dr. Frazier say Blacks will also be affected by ending the DACA program.
“What is not known by many is the fact that there are countless Blacks who will be adversely impacted as well. They remain nameless,” Dr. Frazier said.
She was referring to the 58,000 Haitians who, according to Judge Lionel Baptiste said the Trump administration gave Haitians until January 22, 2018 to leave the country. However, with Hurricane Irma causing wind and water damage to Haiti, which has not recovered from the 2010 and more recent earthquakes, Baptiste called the deportation of Haitians unfair.
Emma Lozano, a Hispanic activist and wife of Reverend Walter “Slim” Coleman, said more than 300,000 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) former residents of Central America and the Haitians, are scheduled to be kicked out of the U.S. Lozano said there are over 25,000 refugees from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea who are being forced to leave the U.S. this month. She said this is not fair.
Agreeing, Frazier noted, “We must be concerned about their well-being and become a voice for them. The media in its bias is only showing and empathizing with the Hispanics as the group targeted or affected, which is misleading.
“In light of the Black Lives Matter campaigns and other advocacy, we know that in this country, Black lives do not matter, and this is why we have been ignored and excluded from the narrative. Subsequently, there is no DREAM Act for us,” Dr. Frazier pointed out.