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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

On Thursday, the Supreme Court stopped President Donald Trump from inflicting the devastation that candidate Trump had vowed to inflict on 700,000 young immigrants in this country.

This is a temporary reprieve, which makes this another reason why this year's presidential election is the most important one in our lifetime, no matter our age. Casting our vote is our last chance to stop the most dangerous man to inhabit the White House before he burns to the ground whatever remains of the American dream.


The court ruled that Trump could not immediately push through his plan to end the program, initiated by President Barack Obama, to protect about 700,000 young, undocumented immigrants and allow them to work and go to college. The program is called DACA, for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and its recipients are known as Dreamers.

Let us remember, please, two facts about the lives of these Dreamers:

The median age when their parents brought them into this country was 6.

The most common age was three.

I've asked these questions of readers numerous times in the last four years:

Do you remember when you were three? When you were six? Do you remember when every major decision for your young life was made by the people who raised you? For good or bad, or somewhere in between, they were in charge of you.

Do you remember where you lived? Do you know why you lived there? Maybe your family suffered a financial setback, or a series of upheavals. Overnight, your whole world changed. Maybe you remember the first time you saw your mother cry, or your father.

Maybe your family was torn apart because of a parent's alcoholism or drug addiction. Or untreated depression. Maybe you were on the receiving end of physical or emotional abuse. As I wrote three years ago, if this is the story of your beginnings, I'm sorry to ask you to recall those times of fear and hopelessness. You were just a kid. It wasn't your fault.

None of your early childhood was your fault. Should you have to pay the price of your parents' mistakes for the rest of your life?

Of course not.

If you have children, should the mistakes of your past derail their future?

Again, of course not. So often, perhaps too often, parents see their children as their second chances.

We are no different from the migrant parents who crossed our borders to give their small children a better life, which, in so many cases, involved giving them a chance to survive.

As multiple legal scholars warn, this court ruling is a temporary fix.

"We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies," Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. "We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action."

By the way, are you registered to vote?

Don't assume it. Check.

Who have you virtually adopted to make sure they, too, register and vote?

I ask because Trump's tweeted response to the Supreme Court ruling was to turn it into a campaign moment: "Vote Trump 2020!" He followed up with another tweet to make it even more about him: "Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn't like me?"

Poor, lonely braggart, cowering behind his fences, quarantined from his mobs. Racism is no fun when you're all alone.

On the same day the Supreme Court granted the temporary reprieve to Dreamers, Facebook announced that it had deleted Trump campaign ads posted on Wednesday using an inverted red triangle, which is the Nazi symbol for political prisoners.

Facebook's statement: "We removed these posts and ads for violating our policy against organized hate. Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group's symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol."

The ads had gone up the day before, and before Fortune magazine's John Buysse first flagged them on Twitter, they had "gained more than a million impressions across the Facebook pages of Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence," The New York Times reported.

The campaign ran 88 of these Nazi-like ads, The Washington Post reported, and they targeted every state in America.

Again I ask: Are you registered to vote?

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and professional in residence at Kent State University's school of journalism. She is the author of two non-fiction books, including "...and His Lovely Wife," which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate. Her novel, "The Daughters of Erietown," will be published by Random House in Spring 2020. To find out more about Connie Schultz (schultz.connie@gmail.com) and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

A Week That Was Disastrous For Trump, Miraculous For Biden

Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he was elected president, according to a blockbuster report published by the New York Times on Sunday.

The Times report also found that Trump is millions of dollars in debt, incurred through a series of failed business ventures — a fact that runs counter to Trump's self-made image as a successful businessman. Trump has also used his financial failings to avoid paying taxes, the report found.

The president has resisted revealing his financial information since the start of his first presidential campaign, despite promising otherwise. "I would certainly show tax returns if it was necessary," Trump told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt in 2015. Yet for five years, the president has failed to produce the documents.The president paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, and paid another $750 in 2017, according to the report. And in 2014, Trump paid zero dollars in taxes.

Conservatives including Trump often suggest that undocumented immigrants take advantages of government services without contributing their fair share. Throughout his first term, Trump has repeatedly cast blame on immigrants and suggested they post an economic burden to U.S. taxpayers.

"Our current immigration system costs America's taxpayers many billions of dollars a year," Trump claimed in 2017 during his first presidential address to Congress.

That claim does not hold up to scrutiny. In reality, undocumented immigrants pay billions of dollars in taxes every year. In 1996, the Internal Revenue Service created a program for non-citizens who work in the U.S. to report their income. Non-citizens who do not have a Social Security Number — including undocumented immigrants — are able to file taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN. According to the IRS, 4.4 million people paid taxes using an ITIN in 2015, totaling $23.6 billion in tax revenue.

This raises the question: why would undocumented immigrants pay U.S. taxes if they are unauthorized to live in the country? Immigrants often choose to pay taxes in order to demonstrate "good moral character" when applying for legal residence or citizenship, according to the National Immigration Law Center. Undocumented immigrants who fail to pay their taxes risk deportation.

"Immigrants, both documented and undocumented, paid an estimated $328 billion in state, federal, and local taxes in 2014 alone," Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration law practice at Cornell Law School, told the American Independent Foundation. "It is outrageous that the average undocumented immigrant in the United States pays more in federal income taxes than the President did in 2016."

This contrast is especially ironic given Trump's tendency to deride unauthorized immigrants as irresponsible lawbreakers. Trump has a tendency to respond to criticism with projection — when accused, he accuses others of the same thing.

"Yes, undocumented immigrants are helping fund the very system that detain and deport us," journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who is undocumented, tweeted in 2019.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.