DACA in Danger

So this happened:

The Trump administration on Tuesday formally announced the end of DACA — a program that had protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation.

The Department of Homeland Security will stop processing any new applications for the program as of Tuesday and rescinded the Obama administration policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
“I am here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday at the Justice Department.

Trump has given the program six months to live and challenged Congress to replace it. He has, however, undermined that a bit by saying he might “revisit” the issue if Congress fails to act. DACA originally passed the House but fell five votes short of breaking a Senate filibuster. So Obama enacted it by Executive Order.

First of all, I think this demonstrates yet again how dangerous rule by Executive Order is. Thanks to DACA, about 800,000 individuals came forward to gain status under it. They provided the government with tons of documentation on their location, how they came into this country illegally and so on. But because DACA was passed with the stroke of a pen, it can now be undone with one. And so now these people are more vulnerable deportation because they tried to do the right thing.

And that brings to the second point, which is how cruel and pointless this policy is. DACA isn’t an amnesty. It grants legal work permits to people who came into this country as minors, have not broken the law and are either in school, have graduated school or are in the armed forces. On balance, they add to our economy. Cutting them out of the workforce would impose billions in compliance costs, estimated to be along the impact of a few dozen new regulations. These are the kind of immigrants — working, law-abiding, serving — that we want. And now they are in danger of being sent to countries they have never lived in so that can Trump can pander to the nativists.

The gripping hand however is that … Trump is right in one respect. DACA is something that Congress should do, not the President. They’ve been screwing around with this legislation for 16 years. I don’t know that this kind of deadline will make them do their damned job (although the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling games of chicken worked). But they need to stop playing around. It’s time to make DACA permanent. And it’s time to do it through the proper legislative process.

  1. The fact is that these folks are in the country illegally.  You can argue that it is the parents that committed the crime, but they are still illegal.  Allowing this program is just another means of bypassing the immigration system.  We grant a million folks citizenship every year.  This is just a way of saying “why not 1.8 million, since these are nice people?”

    they add to our economy.

    They are taking jobs from American citizens and other foreigners with valid work visas and, to your point, likely spending the money from those jobs within the economy.  I agree that the lack of a criminal history makes them good candidates, but it is not as if these jobs would not be filled otherwise and the salaries spent in the same locations.  It can be argued that these are “jobs Americans don’t want”, but is more likely that the employers are paying less in wages than they have to due to the presence of DACA immigrants.

    Cutting them out of the workforce would impose billions in compliance costs

    Compliance costs were already forced when DACA was implemented, both government and private.  Just because it costs money to stop performing a bad policy doesn’t mean the policy shouldn’t end.  Companies have turnover all of the time.  This is not likely to put anyone out of business.

    they are in danger of being sent to countries they have never lived in

    Do the parents hold any blame here, or is it all Trump’s fault?  “For the children” isn’t always the answer to bad policy.

     DACA is something that Congress should do, not the President.

    Absolutely.  Congress is screwing the pooch with ACA and DACA.

    I can sympathize with the individuals in question, but they were in the country illegally when they applied for the deferral and likely will stay in the country illegally after the deferral ends.  As good law-abiding folks, they don’t even have to move to a sanctuary city to avoid deportation.  Applications for citizenship can proceed in accordance with law.

     

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  2. Ultimately, we won’t see any mass deportations. Most will be allowed to stay if Congress acts because most of them don’t like Trump, and many of the Republicans have ties with the Chamber of Commerce and local businesses that hire people like this.

    If Trump’s past record on what he says versus what he actually does is any indication, I don’t think most of them really have anything to worry about. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the latest Hollywood/liberal meltdown by people whose only experiences with DREAMERS has been their landscapers and nannies.

     

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  3. The fact is that these folks are in the country illegally.

    Out of interest, what specifically does this mean? Does it mean that they can be prosecuted for a crime they committed years ago (like they stole something and we only just found out about it?) And if so would it be in a juvenile court?

    Or is the crime living here today, even though they’re not meant to?

    Basically, is the crime getting here, or staying here?

    Applications for citizenship can proceed in accordance with law.

    I heard an interview with one DACA person who basically debunked this – saying that there are caps on numbers, and the wait list is huge, and the only other routes are marriage to a US citizen or employer sponsorship. Also, there’s good moral character test, and being here illegally already is a black mark against that.

    Basically she was saying that she unknowingly broke the law when she was 2 years old, and because of that she’s fucked.

    I suspect the answer to all this is sorting that out, but as Hal said it’s taken 16 years so far…

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  4. Basically, is the crime getting here, or staying here?

    I think it is both and the penalties are small, although I have not looked them up.  I see articles on immigration violations and the folks are usually released.  Maybe there is a fine or the overnight (time-served) in jail.  I’m guessing that they receive a summons to appear in a later court date for the deportation hearing.  If this is ignored and the individual does not have police involvement in the future, then nothing happens.

    I heard an interview with one DACA person who basically debunked this

    I don’t think what you said debunks anything.  We have immigration laws that allow folks to become citizens.  There are priorities and there are waiting lists.  The complaints seem to be that the wait is long and they can’t jump in line or increase their priority.  This is the reality of US immigration law.  Change the law or not, there is a process and it needs to be followed.  How to change the law is on Congress and we are back to the “16 years so far.”

    I’m not against immigration to this country.  I just believe that a country’s immigration laws should be respected.

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  5. And that brings to the second point, which is how cruel and pointless this policy is.

    The ones who were cruel were the parents for getting their kids into this situation by initially breaking our laws.  Also, add Obama to the list for allowing hundreds of thousands of lawbreakers to build their hopes and dreams on something as flaky and tenuous as an EO, which, as you point out, can be easily countermanded with another EO.

    I realize that you have a higher opinion of syphilis than you do our current POTUS, but the thing is, as you even admit, Trump is simply trying to get us back to the rule of law and being a Constitutional Republic, regardless of how you will inevitably conclude he’s going about it all wrong. As Grady pointed out, they are here illegally, and Trump is simply not to blame for that.

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  6. Grady – Debunk was the wrong word to use.

    She was addressing the point often made that “why don’t the lazy bums just apply for legal status?”

    Basically she was saying that she was in a catch 22. In order to become legal, she had to not have broken the law – which is the reason she wanted to become legal. Also that the number of people who would need to apply far outweighs the numbers allowed for immigration.

     

     

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  7. Also, add Obama to the list for allowing hundreds of thousands of lawbreakers to build their hopes and dreams on something as flaky and tenuous as an EO, which, as you point out, can be easily countermanded with another EO.

    Definitely.  This was one of the reasons I didn’t like the EO.  He’s given the “Dreamers” enough rope for the govt to hang them.

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