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Five Takeaways from Trump's Axing of DACA: Cathy and Salud Squarely in Spotlight

September 6, 2017

 

Politicians, educators and decent people in Santa Barbara, throughout California and the nation are scrambling to craft political and legal strategies to fight Donald Trump’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

 

The 46 percent president has called on Congress to decide over the next six months the future of the policy, which has allowed undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to pursue education and obtain work permits; however, the plain fact is that, at least as of today, the Obama-sponsored program is seriously dead.

 

Trump’s gambit, yet another sop to his hardcore right-wing base, affects about 800,000 people nationwide, nearly 30 percent of them in California, including 9,000 on the Central Coast.

 

You can find a good primer on the whole controversy here. Five takeaways:

 

Murillo in motion. Trump’s move provides both a political challenge and an opportunity for mayoral candidate and city council member Cathy Murillo to demonstrate leadership on a huge issue to the community.

 

Murillo says she’ll be meeting with the Mexican Consul next week, along with a coalition of churches, school district representatives and law enforcement officials, to come up with guidance to offer families with undocumented members at a workshop later in the month.

 

“We will discuss what the state of California can do, legal actions, and how schools and local police can respond to attempts at deportation or removal,” she told me. “It is so cruel for these young people in the program, working and studying, to now be experiencing this.”

 

Murillo also notes that there is a forum on Senate Bill 54, the so-called “ sanctuary state” legislation, scheduled at the Unitarian Society tomorrow night at 7 p.m.

 

Salud’s slip-up. S.B’s freshman congressman Salud Carbajal says he’ll be in the middle of the battle by congressional Democrats to reinstitute and “codify” DACA, as a co-sponsor of the so-called DREAM Act, after the name given to those who have been protected from deportation by the program.

 

Salud also was a headliner at last week’s rally in support of DACA, but he managed to step into the soup in the course of his speech, as the Indy's Hector Sanchez-Castaneda reported:

 

In the middle of Carbajal’s bashing on President Donald Trump, a woman in the crowd shouted, “Fuck that puto,” to which Carbajal laughed and responded. “She said it more adequately.” “Puto” is a strong, derogatory slang term in Spanish, used against homosexual men; it roughly translates to “faggot.”

 

When asked after the rally if he stood by his comment of support, Carbajal vehemently denied supporting the comment. “The statement of what they were trying to say was just ‘be negative toward the president,’” he said. “I’m on the LGBTQ caucus, so it’s not in that framework in which I would condone that statement.”

 

When pressed on his “more adequately” statement, Carbajal said he “kind of thought” the woman might have used another word.

 

Salud’s blood pressure spiked after the Indy published Hector’s story online and he issued a, um, clarification, which probably only seemed as if it was longer than the original story, claiming he was “unfortunately unaware this term was used by the member of the audience that I responded to.”

 

Memo to Salud: Next time, just try saying, “Sorry, screwed up, I apologize.”

 

Two-faced Trump. It’s silly, of course, to look for any rationality, let alone consistency, from the White House on any issue, but the contradictions on DACA are really special.

 

Josh Marshall had an excellent take on this at Talking Points Memo:

 

Last night the White House sent out guidance to offices on Capitol Hill that were clarifyingly stark about what we should be expecting. The memo says quite simply that DACA recipients should use their remaining time with work permits and protection from deportation to prepare to leave the United States. No, six months maybe Congress we’ll solve this, no we’ll see what happens. Just you’re leaving.

 

At the same time, the President himself can’t seem to keep his story straight. The President’s tweet communications have presented his DACA decision as putting the matter into Congress’s lap with the implicit message that DACA is something to be solved. Let me put that more clearly. For diehards like Jeff Sessions and the hardcore anti-immigrants types, this is the solution. There’s nothing for Congress to solve. It’s done. This is the goal.

 

Past is prologue. Back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I covered Gov. Pete Wilson’s 1994 re-election campaign, when he trumpeted the immigrant-bashing Prop. 187, which sought to deny undocumented people public education and health care, among other benefits. Wilson won his race against Jerry Brown’s sister, Kathleen. going away, but he also inflicted permanent damage on California’s Republican Party among Latino voters; the action taken on DACA by Trump and fellow GOPers almost certainly will have a similar, but much bigger, impact nationally.

 

Rats flee ship. The Democratic Party needs to flip 24 seats in the 2018 midterms to regain control of the House and reclaim a slice of power against the GOP’s current hegemony in Washington.

 

They’ve targeted seats across the country where Hillary Clinton beat Trump, including seven in California, several with large Latino populations. It’s not surprising to find at least a few Republican incumbents, who opposed DACA in the past, running away from Trump on this one, as Sarah Wire of the L.A. Times noted in an excellent round-up:

 

Now that the president is putting the issue on Congress’ agenda, the vulnerable Republicans will be squarely in the center of the debate

 

As the Romans always liked to say, "Auribus Teneo Lupum."

 

-JR

 

 

 

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