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Deporting Dreamers won't mend Americans' broken spirit

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

That call was running through my mind Tuesday as Attorney General Jeff Sessions stepped to the podium and announced a major policy change regarding undocumented youth that will, among other things, supposedly help save the beleaguered American worker.

According to Sessions, the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) -- which included giving recipients a temporary work permit -- "denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens."

What a dumb thing to say. As if those "hundreds of thousands of Americans" -- many of whom had every advantage in life -- weren't free to compete with the undocumented for these jobs, and as if they didn't have a huge leg up in that competition because they were born on third base.

Given that most DACA recipients are Latino, what a nice touch by the White House to have Sessions swing the ax on the program. He is no friend to immigrants. Sessions opposed DACA while serving in the Senate, wants to cut legal immigration and plans to crack down on so-called sanctuary cities because he thinks local police should enforce federal immigration law.

If Sessions and the White House want to champion American workers, they can find other ways to do it besides trying to kick out of the country undocumented young people who are working, producing and going to college.

If folks like that threaten and frighten American workers, then we have bigger problems than DACA. Our spirit is broken -- and our country along with it.

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Ruben Navarrette's email address is ruben@rubennavarrette.com.

(c) 2017, The Washington Post Writers Group

 

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