Trump Defies the Supreme Court and Announces that He will Dismantle DACA

By David Brooks on July 29, 2020

DACA students in LA. Photo: Irfan Khan

President Donald Trump, along with his Attorney General, defended the repression against activists he calls “anarchists” and “sick,” disobeyed a Supreme Court ruling that curbs his efforts against dreamers (DACA), and continued to lie about the handling of the pandemic in the U.S., all based on his electoral strategy to rescue his campaign, and asked why “no one” wants him.

Attorney General William Barr appeared before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday for the first time in nearly a year, defending the deployment of federal forces in cities like Portland. He said that “what happens every night around the courthouse [a federal building] cannot reasonably be called a protest. It is, by any objective assessment, an assault on the United States government. At another time, he charged that “violent mutineers and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests to create senseless disorder and destruction against innocent victims.

“You are projecting fear and violence on a national scale in furtherance of obvious political goals. Shame on you, Mr. Barr,” charged Democrat Jerrold Nadler, the committee’s chairman.

Barr was repeating the insistent message of Trump, who tweetly reiterated Monday night that the protesters in Portland and elsewhere “are sick and deranged anarchists and agitators… who will destroy our great American cities,” if his opponent, Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, who he accuses of being “a puppet of the left,” wins the election. He predicted that if that happens, “markets will collapse and cities will burn, and our country will suffer like never before.

Later, in his renewed daily press conferences on the handling of the Covid-19, Trump falsely proclaimed that much of the country was “corona free”, despite the fact that at least 21 states are in the “red” category, where further restrictions are recommended, and that yesterday 150,000 deaths from the virus were exceeded.

He repeated that the pandemic, “the Chinese virus”, is the fault of Beijing, which allowed it to “come out” to the world, and inexplicably took up again the defense of hydroxychloroquine, a drug discredited by his own health authorities.

He seemed to confess that he was jealous of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s leading expert on infectious diseases, lamenting that he enjoys greater public approval than the president. He complained that Fauci and other public health officials are highly admired, “but nobody wants me… It can only be because of my personality”.

But even in his press conference devoted to the pandemic, Trump did not shut out the protesters by claiming, without any evidence, that his government is observing a growing spread of Covid in Portland “because of what has been happening there,” in reference to the protests, explaining that the protesters are “nothing less than anarchists and agitators”.

In defiance of a Supreme Court ruling, the Trump administration announced that it will proceed with its goal of dismantling the temporary legalization program (DACA) for immigrants who arrived as minors, known as dreamers. According to a new Barr memorandum, the government will proceed to phase out  DACA, first by blocking new applications (which will affect about 300,000 people), and offer only a one-year extension, instead of the usual two, of the deadlines for those already in DACA. This, critics say, will potentially put one million immigrants at risk of deportation.

With these images of “urban chaos” in cities with Democratic governments (which figure prominently in the president’s election advertising), along with the constant anti-migrant offensive, and with his attempt to redefine the battle against his government’s Covid-19 as a great success that will culminate in the development of a vaccine this year, everything is designed and calculated only around the electoral contest.

In the face of this, a growing chorus of voices-including veteran Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, Wisconsin State Attorney Josh Kaul, Philadelphia City Attorney Larry Krasner, and numerous commentators-are continuing to denounce what they see as “fascist” measures.

Kaul said in recent days, in response to news of possible federal forces being sent to his state, that with the demonization of migrants, attacks on minority communities, and the use of force against protesters both in front of the White House and in Portland, “we have witnessed a president who employs fascist tactics. He added, “I do not use the phrase ‘fascist tactics’ lightly, but there is no more accurate way to describe the repeated use and incitement of racism, xenophobia and violence.

This chorus expects a massive vote to oust the president from the White House in the elections scheduled for November 3 (in 98 days). In national polls, Biden has held a wide lead for several weeks now, with the average national poll showing a margin of nine to 10 points, according to RealClearPolitics calculations.

In fact, Republicans are reportedly increasingly concerned not only about their power in the White House, but also in the Senate, with states where they have always won almost automatically and now suddenly are in play.

However, it is worth noting that for now the race does not depend on the pro-Biden vote, but on the anti-Trump vote. The Democrats, in order to strengthen their brand – which does not generate much enthusiasm – will depend to a great extent on who they select, among the more than a dozen he is considering, as his running mate (he had already declared that it would be a woman). Yesterday, he said he would announce her decision next week.

Source: La Jornada, translation Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau