Former President Barack Obama lashed out at President Donald Trump's decision to rescind DACA.
Trump announced his order in a written statement on Sept. 5, following a speech by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, reports the Daily Mail.
DACA, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is summarized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.
DACA is an outgrowth of the DREAM Act, short for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, which "was a bill in Congress that would have granted legal status to certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and went to school here," explains the Anti-Defamation League.
Although the bill never passed, "[t]he term DREAMer originally took its name from the bill in Congress, but it has a double meaning about the undocumented youth who have big hopes and dreams for a better future," according to ADL.
After Trump announced the repeal of DACA, protests broke out in front of the White House and the U.S. Department of Justice and in cities across the country, reports The New York Times.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg declared it "a sad day for our country" on his personal page on Sept. 5. “It is particularly cruel to offer young people the American dream, encourage them to come out of the shadows and trust our government, and then punish them for it.”
Obama also used Facebook to post a lengthy condemnation of Trump's decision on Sept. 5:
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. And it is cruel. What if our kid's science teacher, or our friendly neighbor turns out to be a Dreamer? Where are we supposed to send her? To a country she doesn't know or remember, with a language she may not even speak?
But White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted that Trump was acting out of "compassion for out-of-work Americans who want him to enforce stronger borders," according to the Daily Mail.
Obama's Facebook post anticipated Huckabee's response:
Let's be clear: the action taken today isn't required legally. It's a political decision, and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn't threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us … Kicking them out won't lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone's taxes, or raise anybody's wages.
In a meeting with congressional leaders, the president echoed Huckabee's description of his action as a compassionate gesture, according to the Daily Mail.
"I have a great heart for these folks we're talking about," Trump said. "A great love for them and people think in terms of children, but they're really young adults. I have a love for these people and hopefully now congress will be able to help them and do it properly."
Sources: Daily Mail, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Anti-Defamation League, The New York Times, Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook / Featured Image: Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House/Flickr / Embedded Images: Pete Souza/Obama White House/Flickr, Donald J. Trump/Twitter via Daily Mail