Fear-mongering over immigration was the best thing Democrats had going for them until they decided Russia was more important than domestic policy. A lot more fear was spread by angry lawmakers than anything that came from the White House. In fact, something has been going on behind the scenes that we don’t hear much about. USCIS case processing for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has proceeded quietly in the background. Trump’s decision to not cancel DACA was a move he will never get credit for because Democratic Party strategy depends on portraying him as a monster.
What is USCIS Form I-821D and why should you care?
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Form I-821D opens the door to Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The agency calls this a “discretionary determination”1 that suspends removal and requires applicants to get their foot in America’s economic door by completing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
If you’re an illegal, these two things are a big deal.
USCIS case processing for DACA is alive and well. Go ahead and file. Trump isn’t stopping you.
H.R.2431: Trump blamed for “mass deportation” scheme
Don’t confuse law-abiding with legal
The president didn’t get much praise for not scrapping deferred action, although many would applaud him for doing so. Instead, he faces harsh criticism for H.R.2431, the Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act. Democrats call this bill the Trump Mass Deportation Act.2 Congressman John Conyers blasted the legislation because:
Among the bill’s greatest shortcomings is that it makes it a crime to be undocumented in this country. That is not the kind of tough, but fair, solution our Nation needs. 3
Fair to the Democratic Party and fair to citizens and taxpayers are two different things. H.R.2431 is designed to return a measure of immigration enforcement to states and localities. Among other things the bill strengthens detainer requirements sanctuary cities ignore. The House Judiciary Committee offers a download of H.R.2431’s highlights here.
Nothing special about legislative overreach
H.R.2431 honors two police officers killed by an illegal immigrant.4 Ironically, states that will howl about federal overreach are guilty of their own enforcement overreactions. Illinois passed Scott’s Law to commemorate a Chicago Fire Department employee who was killed by a driver. Scott’s Law levies extremely harsh penalties for not changing lanes when approaching an emergency services vehicle. Construction speed limit signs threaten drivers with 14 years in prison for striking a highway worker. I can’t imagine how loud the cries would be if ICE posted signs on the highway threatening illegal immigrants with prison. The wailing from Capitol Hill is loud enough and not much has happened yet.
Democrats should thank Trump. USCIS case processing for temporary amnesty is a gift, but the party would likely prefer that the president jettison DACA so members have more fodder for anti-Trump, pro-immigrant propaganda.
USCIS case processing numbers keep going up
DHS Secretary John Kelly confirmed that his agency is not going after DACA beneficiaries.5 To the contrary, the numbers for Obama’s signature amnesty program keep going up. Updated figures are available on the USCIS website.
Don’t expect to hear a lot about this from Capitol Hill lawmakers. We hear nothing but criticism from Democrats and Trump’s base would likely be happier if we got rid of DACA altogether. Calling thirty-year-old illegals “childhood arrivals” to protect them from the law is an Obama trick that removed a lot more individuals from ICE’s reach than had any right to stay here. Fortunately for illegals, the negative PR from cancelling deferred action is too much for the Republican Party to bear. Better for the GOP to say nothing.
Young people who have never done anything wrong and were dragged here by their parents benefit from filing their I-821D. Whether or not allowing this is the right thing to do is a political question no one will ever answer to everyone’s satisfaction. For the time being the deferred action program is still in place.
Just don’t expect Trump to get any credit. That’s not how things work in Washington.
Sources and video credit
1. “I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. https://www.uscis.gov/i-821d, retrieved June 8, 2017.
2. “Statement on H.R.2431, the Trump Mass Deportation Act.” Zoe Lofgren. May 18, 2017. https://lofgren.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398169, retrieved June 8, 2017.
3. “Conyers Statement for the Markup of H.R.2431, “Trump’s Mass Deportation Act.” U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary Democrats. May 18, 2017. https://democrats-judiciary.house.gov/news/press-releases/conyers-statement-markup-hr2431-trump-s-mass-deportation-act, retrieved June 8, 2017.
4. “Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Strengthen Immigration Enforcement.” Bob Goodlatte. May 16, 2017. https://goodlatte.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=879, retrieved June 9, 2017.
5. “U.S. Rep. McSally Questions DHS Secretary Kelly on Arizona Priorities.” Martha McSally. June 7, 2017. https://mcsally.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/us-rep-mcsally-questions-dhs-secretary-kelly-arizona-priorities, retrieved June 8, 2017.
Video: “Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – How to Apply or Renew DACA.” United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Oct. 7, 2014. https://www.uscis.gov/videos/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-how-apply-or-renew-daca, retrieved June 10, 2017.