Trump should end DACA, make Congress do its job [video]
Trump should end DACA, make Congress do its job [video]
Barack Obama, former (thank you Jesus) President of the United States, sure left some messes in his wake. The next pressing one that current, duly elected, President of the United States, Donald Trump, must clean up is the DREAMers of DACA. The Trump administration said the president will make an announcement on DACA within a few days.
DACA is the Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals program for people called DREAMers – but that label is not official. The DREAM Act, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, has never been passed by Congress, despite being introduced through bipartisan efforts in 2001. It would provide a path to citizenship for illegal aliens. DACA is less broad, only providing legal status.
In 2012, (Bye-Bye) Obama, crafted DACA through executive order. The President is allowed to write executive orders in order to implement the law passed by Congress. The problem is, Congress did not pass any law related to delaying deportation of baby illegal aliens. But caring, sensitive, empathetic Obama fixed that.
Under DACA, an illegal alien under the age of 30 who was brought to the U.S. illegally, but before his or her 16th birthday may apply for a DACA permit. There are further residency requirements, enrollment or graduation from high school is necessary, and the person must not have committed any serious crimes. The permit is good for two years.
Trump should end DACA. He does not have the authority to maintain it anyway. From the start, DACA was an illegal action by Lawless Obama. He exercised power only appropriate to Congress. Therefore any further action on this matter must be handled by Congress. Congress, get off your arse and handle it!
How this should be ended is the important question. There is no perfect answer to this dilemma. If a process such as DACA is maintained it only gives perverse incentive for continued law breaking. We should not make laws that create perverse incentives to break the law. Yes, it is very sad that people who have lived in the U.S. their whole life will have to go to another place. But their presence was against the law – just because they have sad stories does not mean the law was not broken. The law can be changed to recognize this potential hardship, but the President may not do it himself.
If DACA is cut there are some ways to soften the blow. Those who are currently in the program may be allowed to stay during the remaining time of their permits, and hopefully Congress will act to cover the gap. But those who are not in the program are at the mercy of Congress, therefore Congress could act to create a legal presence statute (yes, this would be like DACA) for those who meet certain criteria, but never a path to citizenship for anyone who has entered illegally. The DREAM Act would create a path to citizenship. Disallowing citizenship is necessary to reducing the incentive to break the law.
This all must work in conjunction with border enforcement and elimination of sanctuary cities. If that doesn’t happen, none of this works. Over time illegal residency will be reduced. That is an appropriate goal. States with sanctuary sites must agree to conform with federal immigration law or they jeopardize this legislation. Consequences can be losing federal funds (and yes the federal government CAN do that). Trump needs to force them to make this deal. If they don’t stop these sanctuary city shenanigans, no legal status for illegals.
All criminals must be deported. All adults who entered illegally must be deported. If an illegal adult brought the child, deal with that on a case by case basis, but measures must be taken to avoid this wrong incentive to use the child as an anchor. I support birthright citizenship, but I admit it creates its own perverse incentive. The benefits and the unfortunate incentives can be weighed against each other and see which comes out on top. This, as well as all rules for citizenship, must be reviewed to ensure they are granting these rights appropriately.
Our immigration system is a terrible mess of conflicting and contradictory rules. In many cases it is impossible to follow the law to enter legally – for example, by falling out of status on an inadvertent overstay or by missing statutory deadlines. The penalties for violating immigration laws are upwards of being banned from the United States for decades. That is just not a system people can follow with hope. It is a system that is hopeless, and creates the incentive to go around and is monumentally unfair for those who try to immigrate according to the law.
Additionally, the United States has been sued by several states claiming DACA is unconstitutional. It is! Trump should not try to defend it, as that should be a definite loser in court. End it now and spare the taxpayer the expense. How ironic that would be – Trump defending an unconstitutional Obama rule, and Obama wouldn’t even defend duly enacted laws. And he, a “constitutional law professor” – what a fraud.
Fixing this is not easy, and not everyone will be happy no matter the solution. DREAMers may be (mostly) nice people, but their sense of entitlement is off-putting – they need to show some understanding that allowing massive exceptions to the law undermines the law itself – you know, that thing that makes this a nice country to live in? And that Nicey-Nice Obama was just a Panderer-in-Chief, and they got played. On this issue, it really is Congress that needs to fix it. I’m tired of the Office of the President acting outside the scope of duties. This is one action that can be returned to its proper place in the legislative branch.