President-elect Donald Trump has sounded more restrained on immigration than he did during the campaign, most notably in advocating a deportation policy targeting unauthorized immigrants with criminal and gang backgrounds that appears quite similar to one President Obama used from 2009 to 2014.
Though Obama later scaled back this approach after being blasted by some Latino activists as the “deporter in chief,” it would be difficult to depict Trump as extreme if he did the same.
But Trump hasn’t taken a specific position yet on whether he will scrap Obama’s executive order providing some legal protections to more than 1 million young immigrants who have stayed out of serious legal trouble and are in school, have a high school degree or a GED, or have served in the military.
This group is known as the “DREAMers” because of legislation carrying the term that was considered but not adopted by Congress.
Trump’s primary opponents charged that he had flip-flopped on the DREAM Act after he emerged as an immigration hard-liner last year. But while his silence as president-elect may seem encouraging, these are scary times for too many young immigrants.
Trump should remove this fear by announcing he won’t overturn Obama’s order.