Right now in the United States there are some 800,000 law-abiding young people without proper immigration papers who nevertheless proudly call America home. Today President Trump sent them a clear message: They are not welcome here. With its decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has protected these “Dreamers” since 2012, the administration claims that it is merely insisting that Congress take responsibility for the program. That is a dodge, and a cowardly one. This cruel new policy is also a direct contradiction of the promise that President Trump made to the Hispanic community only months ago.
In April, President Trump assured these Dreamers that they could “rest easy.” These young people fully appreciated that they had been afforded a once-in-a-lifetime privilege: the chance to study and work in United States without the constant fear of deportation thanks to DACA, which gave them a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. Now these Americans, all of whom were brought here through no fault of their own, can’t rest easy. Instead they will lie awake at night, wondering whether it will be their last one in America.
Many actions taken by this White House have profoundly rattled my confidence in its commitment to inclusivity and its respect for diversity. But today’s decision was worst of all. An American president who does not believe there’s a place for young people whose passion and values exemplify the best of our tradition is simply not a president that I can continue to support. That is why, as the president and chief executive of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, I have chosen to resign from the President’s National Diversity Coalition, effective immediately.
Despite my vocal opposition to candidate Trump during the 2016 campaign, President-elect Trump and members of his transition team assured me that the voices of our members — the 4.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses in America — would be heard inside this White House, particularly on key issues like immigration, infrastructure and tax reform. The incoming administration asked me to join the President’s National Diversity Coalition, which I did out of a sense of obligation to our members and service to the country I love.
It’s now clear that Mr. Trump’s assurances were a lie. The National Diversity Coalition never formally met — a stark sign of the president’s lack of interest in our work. Cabinet members and senior administration officials would hold off-the-record meetings with members of our association and solicit our advice, but it obviously never mattered to the president himself. No amount of sound advice is enough to keep Mr. Trump’s reckless and divisive impulses in check.
Continue reading the main story