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Joseph Sabino Mistick

Breaking America's promise

| Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Martha Waggonner, Walker Waggonner, Katie Powell and Gail McGlothin hold candles and signs during a silent vigil in honor of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) at T.B. Butler Fountain Plaza in Tyler, Texas, last week. Nearly 500 people attended the vigil on the day that the Trump administration announced that it would phase out the program.
Chelsea Purgahn | Tyler Morning Telegraph
Martha Waggonner, Walker Waggonner, Katie Powell and Gail McGlothin hold candles and signs during a silent vigil in honor of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) at T.B. Butler Fountain Plaza in Tyler, Texas, last week. Nearly 500 people attended the vigil on the day that the Trump administration announced that it would phase out the program.

Political campaign promises are freely made and often broken.

Sometimes they fail because of opposition, and sometimes a successful candidate just walks away from them. Either way, that can be a good thing, especially if the candidate was willing to say anything to get elected, and keeping those promises would needlessly hurt people.

Donald Trump, while on the campaign trail, made a lot of promises, and some have been hard to keep.

His promise to have Mexico pay for a border wall was immediately rejected by Mexico, forcing Trump to try to put the whole cost, which one government estimate put at $21.6 billion, on American taxpayers.

So far, that has not worked.

Trump's promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare has not been kept, but that was not because Trump did not give it his all.

If he had his way, between 18 million and 30 million Americans would have lost their health insurance, with many of those cuts hurting the same voters who put him in office.

He may be lucky that he could not keep that promise.

But one campaign promise that Trump has been able to keep, no matter how many innocent people it will hurt, is the repeal of DACA.

Nearly 800,000 young people, innocents brought here as children, have been protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order that was signed by President Barack Obama.

Repealing DACA is an especially cruel promise for Trump to keep.

The young people protected by DACA have lived the “American Dream” here, working hard to make it. They go to college, go to work, meet their responsibilities, pay their mortgages and their taxes

They are just like the rest of us, and even Trump has realized that in the past.

“DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me, I will tell you. To me, it's one of the most difficult subjects I have because you have these incredible kids. We're gonna deal with DACA with heart,” Trump said earlier this year, which makes his change of heart hard to explain.

His decision has been blamed on a series of threatened lawsuits by a group of conservative state attorneys general. But Trump is no stranger to lawsuits, having been sued thousands of times as a businessman, and at least 135 times since he was elected.

Surely he did not wilt at the threat of a few lawsuits over DACA.

Or it may be that he kept his campaign promise to repeal DACA simply because he could.

Having failed at keeping so many other promises, Trump knew that this one was red meat for his most rabid followers, and since DACA was an executive order, he could deliver on it easily.

But it just might be the result of his indecisive nature.

Like a reed in the wind, he is easily swayed, and maybe the last guy he talked to was against DACA.

It could be that simple.

But none of those are good reasons for this decision. When Trump picks this lone campaign promise to keep, he hurts 800,000 innocent people.

And he breaks the promise of America.

Joseph Sabino Mistick is a Pittsburgh lawyer (joemistick.com).

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