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Decision To End DACA Wrong, Self-defeating And Cruel: Obama

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The Trump administration's decision to terminate a program that provided protections for around 800,000 young undocumented immigrants has evoked severe criticism by former President Barack Obama, who termed it as "wrong," "self-defeating" and "cruel."

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions Tuesday announced President Donald Trump's decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program saying it was unilaterally implemented by Obama without approval from Congress.

Sessions noted that DACA would be wound down to create a time period for Congress to act to address the undocumented immigrants who were granted protection under the program.

The government will stop processing new applications for DACA protection but said current recipients will not be affected before March 5, 2018.

Trump said in a statement the move provides a window of opportunity for Congress to finally act on immigration reform.

DACA is an Obama-era amnesty program that granted work permits to immigrants.

Nearly 790,000 young unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the country illegally as children have received work permits and deportation relief through the DACA program since it was created five years ago by Obama, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data.

"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," Obama said in a statement issued on social media in response to Sessions' announcement.

"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?," Obama asked, using the denotation for undocumented immigrants.

Obama recalled that for years while he was President, he had asked Congress to send him a bill that will earn the Dreamers US citizenship, but it never came.

"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, according to Obama.

And now that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress, Obama called on members of Congress to protect these young people and the nation's future.

The lengthy statement by Obama received 855000 likes on facebook, and shared by 566000 people.

by RTT Staff Writer

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