Buried in the 90-minute smorgasbord of exaggerations, lies, false conflations and middle-school platitudes passed off as a State of the Union Address on Jan. 30, 2018, there was a phrase that should make everyone’s blood boil. Somewhere between the shameless exploitation of real peoples’ tragedies and the nuclear saber rattling, Trump [er, neo-Nazi speechwriter Stephen Miller] threw out this line: “All Americans are Dreamers.”
What was the purpose of that line? At first, it might sound like an innocuous lyric from a Sesame-Street song [“the lovers, the dreamers, and me…”] But it was anything but a reflection of the innocent wishes of children or a testament to an American value. It was, in reality, a slam against people subject to DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.]
In fact, it’s just like the All Lives Matter meme used by retrograde thinkers like Trump and other white nationalists to counter the Black Lives Matter movement. By saying that “All Americans are Dreamers,” Trump/Miller are signaling that they don’t take the official Dreamers seriously and don’t support them. Saying “All Americans are Dreamers” is saying that DACA recipients don’t deserve special status or extra attention. They’re just a bunch of freeloaders, trying to get to the front of the line, ahead of the real Americans.
Trump’s speech made it clear that he and his allies/enablers in Congress clearly have no “intention” [the phrase used by Mitch McConnell] of resolving DACA. He conflated immigrants with terrorists and violent gang members. He applied the All Lives Matter approach to DACA—and his base knows what that means.
After hearing this, I can only conclude that DACA is dead, that 800,000 Dreamers are about to be betrayed by the Trump administration, and that another once-all-American value is about to be tossed aside.