As the March 5 deadline that President Trump had given lawmakers to fix the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program approaches, the American Civil Liberties Union and United We Dream launched a new ad campaign Sunday that aims to get Trump’s attention.
According to KTLA/CNN Wire, the six–figure campaign includes TV ads—on Fox & Friends, no less—Twitter ads, streaming apps, and newspaper buys. The first TV ad features Trump’s own words on DACA.
“We are going to deal with DACA with heart. Because, you know, I love these kids,” Trump says in the ad.
Another Trump quote recalls the then–candidate promising the world at the Republican Convention in 2016: “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”
The ACLU responds: “You killed DACA…Fix what you broke before it’s too late.”
Since the Trump administration announced last September that it would end DACA in six months, the March 5 deadline has lost much of its urgency, thanks to a January ruling in federal court. In that Jan. 9 decision, District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said the Trump administration had failed to justify ending the program.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by the Trump administration of Alsup’s ruling without it first having been heard by a lower appeals court. And that could take months.
According to The Washington Post, citing U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 11,000 people renewed their DACA protections following Alsup’s ruling. Initial DACA requests for another 22,000 people were pending as of Jan. 31.
A second ruling in a New York district court in February delivered another blow to the Trump administration, with Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis saying the White House’s effort to end DACA was legally unjustified and must be kept in place until a lawsuit filed by more than a dozen state attorneys general is resolved.
Meanwhile, Congress, which has been unable to make any progress on new immigration legislation despite a brief government shutdown and several subsequent bipartisan proposals, now has more time. Some say, however, that legislative action on immigration may not happen before midterm elections in November.
On Sunday, several DACA and immigration advocates gathered in Washington, DC, to protest outside the White House, where a clock ticked down the hours to the March 5 deadline, and at other locations throughout the nation’s capital. Another rally is scheduled for Monday, with participants planning to gather at the National Mall and then to head to congressional offices.
ACLU National Political Director Faiz Shakir told CNN Wire, “I think the one important thing that I feel like we all appreciated and learned about Donald Trump is that he is a person who reacts to headlines. He’s a person who reacts to PR, publicity and attention, and if you’re not in his face on headlines and press, then essentially you’re kind of outside of his scope.”
Shakir added: “Whatever we can do to try to make it a front-and-center, in-front-of-his-face issue, that’s what we’re going to try to do.”