Sometimes no matter what you do, it’s never enough. When the Trump administration announced the October 5, 2017 renewal deadline for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals so DREAMers could get their ducks in a row before the program expired, Democrats worked themselves into a lather. The word got out. America was getting ready to line up fleets of jetliners to start a massive deportation process to remove our youngest and brightest.
In the real world all DREAMers had to do was fill out some paperwork. For some, that was too much effort or just too risky.
DACA Renewal deadline passed. Nothing happened.
The renewal deadline passed. So far nothing has happened other than the ongoing crackdown on criminals. The mass exodus didn’t come to fruition, but neither did all eligible DREAMers honor the DACA renewal deadline. Instead, tens of thousands let the date pass after warnings from politicians and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Durbin warned. Who listened?
Earlier this month DREAMer advocate Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) warned:
… tens of thousands of current DACA holders are likely to miss the [DACA expiration] deadline due to lack of information or resources.1
The Nation and other news services reported that 36,000 did precisely that.
Are we to believe that smart, talented individuals about to become “teachers, nurses, engineers, and small business owners”2 can’t keep the expiration date for their temporary amnesty straight. Unless everything we’ve been hearing about them is propaganda, that just doesn’t make sense.
Did the senator and his party do such a good job of warning immigrants that they are on the verge of removal that many didn’t even bother or worse, were too scared to again submit their information to the government?
Solution? Blame Trump for renewal deadline failure.
It’s hard to be sympathetic with deferred action beneficiaries who don’t keep their records current.
What’s the fix for their predicament?
Blame is exactly what was dished up by Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Michelle Lujan Grisham:
Today is a sad day in America. Today the President of the United States and his administration began to undocument the documented. It began when President Trump irresponsibly ended DACA and set an arbitrary and rushed 30 day renewal period endangering thousands of young Americans.3
Young Americans?? That’s a bit presumptions. We don’t even have a pathway to citizenship bill that stands a decent chance of passage. Considering her party’s stance on border security, there’s a good chance we never will.
What happened to all these DREAMers?
When the deadline passed, thousands of DREAMers put their dreams at risk.
Two possibilities make sense:
1. Democrats got the word out and people believed them
If you are going to be deported, coming forward and filing more papers with the government is probably not a wise idea. Best bet: do nothing and wait.
2. DREAMers think they are untouchable
When the head of a House caucus refers to illegals as “young Americans” that sends a message no responsible public official should send. These people are not Americans and while they may be granted citizenship in the future, there is no path now and none anticipated.
What do you think? Did Democrats inadvertently send a message not to bother, or to turn and run?
Update November 18, 2017: one more possibility
Blame the post office for not delivering DACA renewal documents on time. Applicants will get another chance from USCIS which promises “additional guidance” on November 20.
1. “Durbin Calls On Trump Administration To Extend DACA Deadline.” Dick Durbin. October 2, 2017. https://www.durbin.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/durbin-calls-on-trump-administration-to-extend-daca-deadline, retrieved October 22, 2017.
3. “CHC Chair Statement on Day of DACA Renewal Deadline.” Congressional Hispanic Caucus. October 5, 2017. https://congressionalhispaniccaucus-lujangrisham.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/chc-chair-statement-on-day-of-daca-renewal-deadline, retrieved October 22, 2017.
Graphic: “Decoding DACA.” Senate Republican Policy Committee. September 12, 2017. https://www.rpc.senate.gov/policy-papers/decoding-daca, retrieved October 22, 2017.