Former President Barack Obama called the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program “cruel” and “self-defeating” in a statement on Facebook Tuesday afternoon.
“To target these young people is wrong — because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating — because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love,” Obama said. “And it is cruel.”
Vox’s Dara Lind has explained how the Trump administration’s decision will ultimately put nearly 800,000 immigrants who came to America as children at risk of deportation. Obama unilaterally implemented the program in 2012 after Congress failed to pass the DREAM Act, which would have put young immigrants on a path to legalization.
Obama has largely avoided wading into political debates since leaving office, citing the need to allow a new generation of progressive candidates to take center stage. But before leaving office, Obama vowed to reenter the fray should Trump make efforts to, as he put it, “round up kids who have grown up here and for all practical purposes are American kids and send them someplace else.”
Read Obama’s statement in full: