“Former President Barack Obama established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program five years ago with an executive order that granted temporary lawful status and work authorization to certain undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the United States as children.
This was not a good idea. It only provided temporary relief and applicants had to admit alienage, concede unlawful presence, and provide their addresses to establish eligibility for the program, which has made it very easy to find them and rush them through removal proceedings.
Instead of giving false hope to the young immigrants who participated in the program and heightening their risk of deportation, Obama should have worked on getting legislation passed that would have given them real lawful status and put them on a path to citizenship. Such bills are referred to as DREAM Acts, an acronym for “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act.”
That still is the only option that makes any sense.
. . . .
DACA advocates need to put aside any anger they have over the rescission of DACA and work on getting a DREAM Act passed.
A new approach is needed. One possibility would be to base eligibility on national interest instead of on a desire to help as many undocumented immigrants as possible, which is the approach taken by the recently introduced American Hope Act, H.R. 3591. It might more appropriately have been named, “The False Hope Act.”
The solution is to find a way to help immigrants who were brought here as children that would be acceptable to both parties.”
In a separate blog over on CNBC, Hector Barreto, Chairman of the Latino Coalition echoed Nolan:
“The winding down of DACA is the perfect time for Congress to develop effective, compassionate policy on immigration – something most Americans strongly agree we need. The best reforms will be developed through the legislative process, not executive orders – and that’s something else both sides can agree on.
In the meantime, leaders should stay away from inflammatory language and fear mongering. Mass deportations will not happen – it is simply not logistically possible, and it is not what the Trump Administration has called for. It is worth noting how Attorney General Sessions described the government’s next steps:
The Department of Justice has advised the President and the Department of Homeland Security that DHS should begin an orderly, lawful wind down, including the cancellation of the memo that authorized this program. … This [wind down process] will enable DHS to conduct an orderly change and fulfill the desire of this administration to create a time period for Congress to act—should it so choose. We firmly believe this is the responsible path.
Sessions’ words about a “wind down” were rational and calm, indicating an approach that is not drastic or dramatic, not gratuitously painful or overly political. The end of DACA and the beginning of lawful immigration reform can, and should, be handled with this level of maturity and respect – for dreamers for American citizens, and for our nation’s tradition of the rule of law.
There are no easy or simple answers on immigration, and it’s okay for our leaders to acknowledge that fact. I believe they can find legislative solutions that strengthen America, recognize our proud immigrant tradition, keep the economy strong, and keep our citizens safe and our borders secure. The core elements of President George W. Bush’s immigration reform proposals, for example, met those goals through effective border security, a functioning and humane guest worker program, and a pathway to earned legal status for the undocumented. Given the six-month time frame Congress will have before DACA ends, they would do well to start their work with Bush’s already well-developed proposal.
President Trump even Tweeted on Tuesday that he would revisit the issue if Congress cannot act.”
Read Nolan’s and Hector’s blogs at their respective links above.
I agree with Nolan’s “bottom line:”
“The solution is to find a way to help immigrants who were brought here as children that would be acceptable to both parties.”