September 5, 2017 3:21 pm
Updated: September 5, 2017 3:42 pm

Obama slams Trump’s DACA decision, calling it ‘cruel,’ ‘self-defeating’

After announcing the scrapping of the DACA program, President Donald Trump said he has "great heart" for the "Dreamers," but Congress needs to come up with a better solution.

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Former U.S. president Barack Obama is calling out President Donald Trump’s decision to end the so-called Dreamer program.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, he said a “shadow has been cast over some of our best and brightest young people once again.”

“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.”

READ MORE: Canada could be a Plan B for older Dreamers, immigration lawyer says

WATCH BELOW: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that the DACA program is being rescinded.


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The Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protects people who had been brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation. It has processed about 800,000 successful applicants, aged 16 to 35, who had to meet certain educational standards and have clean criminal records got work permits and some degree of security.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions axed the program Tuesday, saying “we cannot admit everyone who wants to come” to the United States.

Trump said Obama bypassed Congress to implement the DACA program and said the executive branch of the government shouldn’t have the power to do that.

In a statement from the White House, Trump said though he does not “favor punishing children … for the action of their parents,” the immigration laws of the country must be upheld.

Obama disagrees, though.

“Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally,” he wrote. “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.”

Obama did not mention Trump by name in his statement but says targeting the Dreamers is wrong “because they have done nothing wrong.”

READ MORE: Who are the thousands of ‘Dreamers’ facing deportation from the U.S.?

Obama says it’s up to members of Congress to act and he joins his voice with the majority of Americans who hope Congress will step up.

“Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people – and who we want to be,” he wrote.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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