I think the issue is that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was an Executive Order, signed into existence by Obama. The Dreamers are named for the DREAM Act. DACA does not lead to any kind of legal status whereas the DREAM Act would provide a means for obtaining a Green Card and legal status.
The two cover “different” groups which might be what Trump meant. Recipients of DACA must have resided in the U.S. continuously since June 15, 2007. Also, DACA only applies to individuals who were born on or after June 16, 1981. Dreamers refer to individuals under 31 years of age who were brought to the U.S. illegally as young children and who meet these criteria:
- The individual must have entered the U.S. before 16 years of age.
- The individual CANNOT have been convicted of a felony OR three other misdemeanors.
- The individual graduated from high school.
- Individuals who have served in the military.
The DREAM Act was first proposed in 2001 and from what I could find, appears to have come before Congress at least 5 times since 2011, failing to gain acceptance each time. In 2012, Obama took portions of the DREAM Act and created DACA. In essence, it was to have provided some of the rights of the DREAM act to some of the children included in the DREAM Act. Interestingly, the reason the DREAM Act failed in 2011 was because a number of GOP Senators did not think these rights should be accorded unless there was more enforcement of immigration law enforcement.
So here we are again, 7 years later, stuck on the same things and some of the same people are still involved (McCain, Graham, Comryn). In some ways, it reminds me of what happened with Obamacare. Trump was intent on getting rid of it and originally promised there would be a replacement before he killed the Affordable Care Act. Then Congress got stuck on the entire issue and we ended up with a mess. Here, Trump originally promised a replacement for Obama’s DACA order before eliminating it and now, everybody’s in a tizzy again because of opposing agendas.
What is most offensive is that this continues to feel like a case of Trump’s ego (let’s obliterate everything that Obama did because I’m the better POTUS) vs. looking out for the interests of the people.
(References: CNN, Wikipedia, PrideImmigration)