Bill Clinton’s full statement on DACA

DACA has brought hundreds of thousands of young people out of the shadows — allowing them to live without fear, go to school, work, and contribute to America in countless other ways. These young people’s dreams are part of the American Dream. And they make it more real for all of us. Today’s decision by the White House to terminate DACA — and that is effectively what it attempts to do — will crush their dreams and weaken the American Dream for the rest of us.

It’s wrong because it’s bad policy that solves no pressing problem and raises new ones. It’s wrong because it’s irresponsible, passing the buck instead of offering sensible solutions for immigration reform. Most of all, it’s wrong because it’s cruel to send these young people to places many of them have never lived and do not know. For them this is home. The United States is their home.

Instead of punishing them, we should find ways to openly embrace them and to empower them to make their own contributions, as previous generations of immigrants have done.

Congress should act immediately to protect their status and pave the way for their future and America’s future.

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Trump: I’ll ‘revisit’ DACA if Congress can’t fix in 6 months

President Donald Trump plans to “revisit” his administration’s decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program if Congress is unable to pass legislation on the issue in a designated six-month window, he announced in a tweet Tuesday night.

“Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!” Trump wrote.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration would end DACA — a program that gave almost 800,000 young undocumented immigrants protections from deportation.

“I am here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded,” Sessions said at the Justice Department.

However, the administration said it would continue to renew permits for individuals over the next six months, giving Congress enough time to pass legislation that could extend protections for DACA recipients past the deadline.

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Admin memo: DACA recipients should prepare for ‘departure’

White House talking points on Tuesday urged DACA recipients to prepare for a “departure from the United States,” a much starker possible future than Trump administration officials used in public when announcing an end to the program.

The statement was contained in a background document that was sent by the White House to offices on Capitol Hill, obtained by CNN from multiple sources.

In the “DACA talking points” memo, the White House laid out a number of bullet points for supporters on Tuesday’s announcement outlining the administration’s action. One bullet point suggests DACA participants should prepare to leave the country.

“The Department of Homeland Security urges DACA recipients to use the time remaining on their work authorizations to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States — including proactively seeking travel documentation — or to apply for other immigration benefits for which they may be eligible,” the memo says.

Neither the White House or Department of Homeland Security disputed the contents of the document to CNN.

“As noted, we expect Congress to pass legislation so this will hopefully be a moot point,” DHS spokesman David Lapan said. “However, of course we would encourage persons who are in the country illegally to depart voluntarily, or seek another form of immigration benefit for which they might qualify.”

“No one has an entitlement to live in the United States illegally,” Lapan added. “Individuals have an independent obligation to comply with the laws that Congress passes, in all contexts.”

The White House referred all questions to DHS.

The Trump administration Tuesday announced it was ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation and offered them the ability to work and study in the US. DHS will process applications that had been received before Tuesday and will allow renewals in the next month of any of the two-year permits set to expire before March 5, 2018, to give time for Congress to act.

Trump said Tuesday he has “a great heart” for DACA recipients and the White House is pushing Congress to act.

“I have a love for these people and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly,” Trump said Tuesday afternoon at the White House. “And I can tell you, speaking to members of Congress, they want to be able to do something and do it right.”

The talking points language echoes similar guidance DHS has used in the past regarding a different program, Temporary Protected Status, when it granted a six-month extension to Haitians displaced by the 2010 earthquake who are using it to work and study in the United States. DHS has signaled it may end the protections after those six months expire.

But the comments are sure to alarm already fearful advocates, who worry that if Congress fails to save the DACA program, the expiration of permits could mean deportation for the nearly 700,000 people currently enrolled in DACA that in many cases have known no other home besides the US.

In public statements Tuesday after announcing an end to the program, DHS had acknowledged that any person who loses their DACA permit would revert to being like any undocumented immigrant in the US, though it emphasized that it did not place a priority on targeting those individuals. But they did not offer any assurances those individuals would avoid deportation if encountered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and confirmed that ICE would be able to access the detailed information DHS has on those individuals if it found a law enforcement purpose to do so.

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Obama slams Trump for rescinding DACA, calls move ‘cruel’

Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday bashed his successor’s decision to rescind an immigration order shielding some children of undocumented immigrants from deportation, calling the move “cruel” and “self-defeating.”

“To target these young people is wrong — because they have done nothing wrong,” Obama wrote in a post on Facebook hours after the decision was announced by President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “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.”

The lengthy statement is among Obama’s most forceful since departing office. He sharply criticized Trump’s motives and insisted rescinding the program — called DACA — was not legally required.

“It’s a political decision, and a moral question,” Obama wrote. “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.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden also criticized Trump’s move.

“Brought by parents, these children had no choice in coming here. Now they’ll be sent to countries they’ve never known. Cruel. Not America,” Biden tweeted.

Promised to speak out

Just before leaving office in January, Obama told reporters during a news conference that he would speak out sparingly in his post-presidency. But he said revoking DACA was among the actions that would prompt him to weigh in.

“The notion that we would just arbitrarily or because of politics punish those kids, when they didn’t do anything wrong themselves, I think would be something that would merit me speaking out,” Obama said at the time.

DACA amounts to Obama’s chief legacy item on immigration, though it’s far reduced from the vision for major changes that he entered office promising.

During his first years in office, Obama focused heavily on repairing a damaged economy. Instead of immigration, he chose health care as his first major legislative push.

He approved the program in 2012 after unsuccessful efforts in Congress to pass a measure that would allow children of undocumented immigrants brought into the country illegally to avoid deportation.

During most of his first term, Obama insisted that taking action unilaterally to spare DACA recipients from deportation wasn’t possible. Instead, he said it was up to Congress to craft a solution.

But after legislative efforts failed, Obama asked his attorney general and other administration lawyers to reassess his options for taking executive action. His administration argued that circumstances had changed after Congress was unable to pass legislation.

Months before his re-election, he announced in the Rose Garden that he was taking action on his own, though qualified his move as a short-term fix.

“This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix,” Obama said. “This is a temporary stopgap measure.”

His decision ignited controversy and legal challenges, though polls show a large majority of Americans support measures that would allow people who came to the country illegally as children to remain.

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Sean Spicer hitting the paid speaking circuit

Sean Spicer may be gone from the briefing room podium, but new podiums are in his future: the former White House press secretary is hitting the paid speaking circuit.

Spicer has signed with Worldwide Speakers Group, the organization said in a statement Tuesday. News of his new job was first reported by Politico.

“Everybody knows Sean Spicer. At least, polls show, they know his name and his trademark style behind the White House podium,” his posting reads.

The listing touts Spicer’s experience as a Republican communicator, citing his experience at the White House, the Republican National Committee, the Office of the US Trade Representative and Congress.

After a rollercoaster six-month run, Spicer resigned from his post July 21. His last official day was last Thursday.

It’s unclear how much Spicer is being paid per speech — the fee range is listed as “Inquire for Details.”

Worldwide Speakers Group will represent Spicer “exclusively” as he speaks to corporations, trade associations, colleges and universities, and public lecture series, the group said in a statement Tuesday.

“Sean is uniquely qualified to provide context and insight for audiences seeking to understand how the people, policies and philosophies shaping the news will impact them now and in the future,” the statement added.

The group did not comment on Spicer’s rate or timing of his first speech.

The former press secretary frequently criticized Hillary Clinton for her own paid speeches, both during the campaign and in the White House.

“She (Clinton) used her office to make concession after concession, selling off one-fifth of our country’s uranium, paid speeches, paid deals, getting personal calls from Vladimir Putin,” Spicer said at a White House press briefing last spring.

Describing Spicer as “relentless, quick-witted and good-humored,” the listing also nods to actress Melissa McCarthy’s now-iconic depictions of him on “Saturday Night Live.”

“Melissa McCarthy’s depiction of his press briefing performances earned him a spot in ‘Saturday Night Live’ lore, but it was his role as the architect of the Republican National Committee’s PR strategy that earned him a reputation as one of the party’s most effective and hardest-charging strategists and communicators,” it reads.

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