By Tom Cardella
My mission today, dear dreamer, is to help you understand President Donald Trump’s decision on DACA. Please bear with me. Don’t shoot me. I am only the messenger. I am a dream lover — forgive me, Bobby Darin. Both President Trump and his Attorney General Jeff Sessions have asked me to perform this service because they are too busy with other pursuits — Mr. Trump with his golf game and Mr. Sessions with his efforts to learn more about the Yankee North, to answer your questions. I trust you will find this column informative.
DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. If you were brought into this country illegally and are under the age of 16, then DACA applies to you. You have whimsically and perhaps wishfully been labeled a “dreamer.” I realize politicians are not normally given to whimsy, but this is an exception to that rule. There are approximately 800,000 of you living in this country, going to school and/or working. You have been vetted for criminal records and therefore likely to be less of a threat than your average American. We Americans appreciate that very much.
Last week President Trump gave Congress six months to figure out what to do with you. This means that in six months you could be deported to your country of origin (even though you might have to check your birth certificate to find out the identity of your country of origin because you were too young to remember where the hell it is). You are in the Trumpian version of Limbo (Limbo is the Christian way station for unbaptized infants who are waiting for a celestial congress to decide what to do with them). No, I do not know what heaven ever decided to do about unbaptized infants. In America parlance — which you no doubt understand because of the years you’ve lived here — you’re screwed. Maybe you play football for UCLA. Or you might have helped your neighbors in Houston during Hurricane Harvey. Or maybe you’re serving in our armed forces. Doesn’t matter. You’re still screwed.
You may find it ironic or disquieting that the president spoke through Sessions, a man who just a month ago, was himself, in Trumpian Limbo. “Doghouse” is probably a better word. Perhaps you will be as lucky as Sessions to be rehabilitated into the president’s good graces during the next six months. The word “perhaps” is the operative phrase here. “Perhaps” as in perhaps is the operative phrase for most decisions under the Trump presidency. As in perhaps, Trump will survive the Russia investigation. Perhaps, we will go to war against North Korea. Perhaps Mexico will not pay for the damn wall after all. Perhaps Republicans won’t replace Obamacare. Perhaps, the debt ceiling will not be raised and America will become a nation of deadbeats.
You can be excused if you are confused now about what will happen to you. I know President Trump has said in the past that he “loved” you and all the dreamers. Our president used to dream quite a bit himself — sometimes about a world without the news media — before he calculated that tweeting in the middle of the night about crucial policy decisions or the ratings of “The Apprentice” is presidential. He and his Chief of Staff John Kelly have a difference of opinion on tweeting-as-governance.
President Trump also promised you a decision with “heart.” You may be forgiven if you are unable to detect in his recent decision what he meant by “heart.” The president is a man whom his admirers say is given to nuance, despite what his detractors such as myself say about him. His use of the word “heart” is an example of such nuance, they say. This heart that Mr. Trump speaks about has four of its arteries clogged with no chance of a quadruple bypass anytime soon. Supporters of President Trump would say to you, he IS giving you six months to make your travel plans back “home.”
If you are depending on the Republican Congress to come to your rescue, you are likely somebody who believes Mexico is just kidding and that they will surely pay for the wall. This columnist has learned that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will team up to provide you with informational videos about your “home” — the one you left when you were 6 months old. You will be reacquainted with its language and customs. And your money will be exchanged into pesos or whatever is the currency of your home country, with no fee. Assimilation, or should I say re-assimilation, should be a snap. And remember the big plus about your homeland is that it does not have a President Donald Trump.
As it is, don’t let the door hit you on your way out. Don’t take another look at the Statue of Liberty. And don’t talk bad about us when you’re gone.