DREAMers should have thought twice before they filled out Form I-821D to get their deferred action relief from removal. Not being U.S. citizens, maybe they believed that our government was in their corner and could be trusted. Wouldn’t it have been smarter to seek safety in numbers and take a chance on not being discovered? Granted, the current political landscape has smiled on lawlessness. That won’t last forever. If things shift to the right, deferred action could make removals much, much easier.
Deferred action was never meant to be temporary.
Homeland Security called it temporary relief from removal for deserving young people.1 When government creates something bad and calls it “temporary,” start worrying. You just got saddled with a problem that is never going to go away.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals came from a presidential order that shoved a great big foot in the amnesty door for the Obama administration. The program is a relic, anticipating legislation that is not going to pass and will likely be the closest DREAMers will get to comprehensive immigration reform. That means DACA will keep being renewed until we have a president or congressional majority that realize the program evolved from a flagrant violation of the separation of powers and decides to cancel it.
So many DREAMers, so few rejections.
Instead of putting a nice face on what Obama did for DREAMers with a presidential order, let’s cut to the chase and call DACA a lie. After being assured that the program was temporary and that applicants would have to jump through hoops to be accepted, there have been only 20,311 cases denied, terminated, or withdrawn out of 573,508 I-821D applications reviewed.2 We all knew this would be a rubber stamp program, but shouldn’t we have set the bar just a little higher?
Give Homeland Security and the White House credit for foresight. El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are right behind Mexico in the number of DACA acceptances, though Mexico’s 493,669 requests will be hard to beat.3 If the administration changes the residence requirements for humanitarian reasons and teaches the kids coming over the border from Central America how to fill out the form, the president and Homeland Security could make those numbers look even better.
DREAMers get their deferred action renewal on schedule.
There wasn’t a great deal of fanfare in the media when deferred action was renewed. With Janet Napolitano out of the picture, incoming DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson did the dishonor:
Despite the acrimony and partisanship that now exists in Washington, almost all of us agree that a child who crossed our border illegally with a parent, or in search of a parent or a better life, was not making an adult choice to break our laws, and should be treated differently than adult law-breakers,” said Secretary Johnson.4
Whoever wrote some of Janet Napolitano’s ramblings in support of deferred action must still be working at Homeland Security. Did no one consider it odd that our government considers 30-year old DREAMers children who are not accountable for their actions? If eligibility had been cut off at 18 instead of rubbing our faces in Obama’s determination to flout the law, we might have been able to justify more sympathy for the program’s beneficiaries.
House Speaker steps up to the plate.
Secretary Johnson seems to place the president’s values above the law:
By the renewal of DACA, we act in accord with our values and the code of this great Nation. But, the larger task of comprehensive immigration reform still lies ahead.5
If John Boehner is going to make good on his newest political threat and go after the president for his abuse of executive power, deferred action is as good a place as any to start.
It’s hard to beat deferred action for lawlessness and even harder to top Boehner’s reference to aggressive unilateralism6 to describe Obama’s executive lawmaking. Kudos to whoever came up with that one. It should be printed on red, white, and blue T-shirts and handed out to every citizen who still believes that laws meant to protect us matter and should be enforced.
Values only go so far
The problem for DREAMers is that while DACA may be in accord with the values of the Obama administration and some members of Congress, it was only approved by the president. What do DREAMers think Washington will do with the information they handed over on their deferred action applications when the liberal recklessness that has seized our government finally draws to a halt?* Coming out of the shadows may be a rallying cry for those seeking relief from USCIS scrutiny and removal. It might have been wiser to stay hidden. The government that enticed DREAMers to show themselves just might turn on them when it decides to go back to enforcing the law.
*UPDATE November 9, 2016: It came to a halt last night. Next year the GOP will own the White House, the House, and the Senate. The president has vowed to start enforcing immigration law, so it’s time to ask the question again: what about the information handed over on all those DACA applications?
UPDATE July 21, 2017, 7:46 a.m.: RINO Graham joins Durbin to back DREAMers
Yesterday RINO Lindsey Graham and Illinois Senator Dick Durbin introduced a bill that would make DACA permanent. They are calling it the “DREAM Act.” When the bill text is available I don’t expect it will mention deferred action, but Graham’s press release makes it clear that it will have the same impact.
The most appalling thing about this bill aside from turncoat Graham’s participation is this statement made on the senators’ “Dream Act Fact Sheet:”
We have already invested in these young people by educating them in our schools and they are now a vital part of our workforce, contributing to our economic growth and our society as teachers, engineers, nurses, and small business owners.7
The message? We spent lots of money to educate these people and they are working here illegally, so now we need to make them citizens to set things right.
Graham’s role in the push for amnesty is just more Republican treachery in a year that could spell the end of a GOP striving to prove that it no longer serves any useful purpose for conservatives.
Still waiting for the bill text,** but the section-by-section breakdown of the legislation on Senator Durbin’s website not only mentions DACA, it grants conditional permanent resident status to anyone who received this Obama-era temporary accommodation.8
UPDATE September 2, 2017: congressional double-cross in the works?
Yesterday Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan, who lost no time announcing his weakness on Trump administration plans to scrap DACA once and for all. Her letter mentions Ryan’s recent remark that “this is something Congress has to fix.”9 Considering this started with an executive order and presidential overreach by Obama, it is entirely appropriate that successor Trump repeal this ill-conceived scheme for amnesty.
Pelosi? She is craftier than Ryan. If this goes to Congress there will never be a solution and 20-something DACA dreamers pretending that they are here legally will be with us forever.
UPDATE September 4, 2017: felony paves the road to activism
The Chicago Tribune reports10 that felon Elvira Arellano led a march in Chicago yesterday in advance of President Trump’s decision on what to do with deferred action. This is the same illegal immigrant who hid out in a church a decade ago to avoid deportation for working under a fake Social Security number. The moral to the story is that if you want to commit a crime you are better off being an illegal immigrant. With a little luck and lots of Democratic rhetoric not only will all be forgiven, you can come back as a famous, respected left-wing activist.
UPDATE September 5, 2017: DACA is done
It’s over. Jeff Sessions did the dirty work. It was a much kinder, gentler solution than the media and Democrats will give Trump credit for. Now the problem is in Congress’s hands, right where it started before Obama took matters into his own.
**Note: the full text of S.1615, the DREAM Act of 2017, is now on Congress.gov.
UPDATE September 14, 2017: Deal or no deal for DREAMers?
Last night’s bombshell that Trump will continue to collude with Pelosi and Schumer by striking a DACA agreement may not be a deal after all.
The announcement sounded suspicious from the beginning. It’s inconceivable that Trump would back down on his promise to put up a border wall, given that little else on his campaign platform has gone through and his base is counting on him to bring responsible enforcement to our immigration system. A deal without Democrats agreeing to back down on the border wall is no deal at all.
DACA recipients are no longer children, despite the fact that House Republicans bought into the idea with their popular DACA replacement bill, the RAC Act. Children aren’t allowed to work, drive, or do a lot of the other things DACA beneficiaries in their 20s do thanks to temporary amnesty. Should we deport them en masse? No. Should we give them blanket permission to stay? Absolutely not. Republicans in Congress need to get their act together and find a way to screen these people on a case-by-case basis and find out why they are still illegal and what they have done to change their status. Let’s start with the oldest ones first …