Earlier this month, Trump announced that he would not be supporting DACA (Deferred action for Childhood Arrivals) as implemented under the Obama administration in 2012. Rather than introduce a solution, Trump gave Congress a six month deadline to pass something with the threat of 800,000 children and young adults’ deportation looming overhead. What course of action the President prefers is unclear, but if you take a quick scroll through our President’s twitter, past the retweets of autocratic political memes, you will find the tweet where he proclaims “does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military?,” located right above the tweets boasting the construction of the wall and demands for greater border security.
Potential bills gathering partisan support have been proposed in an effort to continue at least some of the protections offered by DACA, which include conditional permanent residency, access to work permits, and education. The haggling induced by the White House for a bill for the dreamers in exchange for border security funding is pressured by the six month deadline, a powerful political move on Trump’s part since the futures of children that have become a part of the American workforce and education system is an issue that some socially concerned representatives would pay a high price for. One of these politically expensive bills, The Dream Act, would pave a pathway to citizenship for those who were brought to America under the age of 18 and have been living here for four years, issuing conditional permanent residency while they meet the educational and work requirements. Unlike The Bridge Act, it provides a permanent solution and is not merely an extension on DACA that keeps disciplinary immigration reform in play. Republicans, and the Trump administration, are looking for a trade-off with the Democrats, a bill passed in exchange for agreeable immigration reform and greater financing for border security, perhaps to fulfill his keystone campaign promise to build a wall, instead of allocating funding to the Environmental Protection Agency or education or anything with purpose. What really gets me is that for the past five years, 800,000 ‘dreamers’ who have been contributing to the American workforce, paying taxes, and attempting to participate in the American dream, have now become a bargaining chip for the Trump administration and Republicans. By revoking the ability of dreamers to stay in the United States while pushing for border protection, Trump is pitting a social issue against national security policy. It is important to note that the addresses and personal information of dreamers is available in their applications for DACA, so deportation is a growing fear for those who have already made their lives in America. While some may view the dreamers as accomplices in some high crime against the American population since they were brought over as minors illegally by their parents, the reality is that immigration policy is civil law so it is constitutionally inaccurate to portray them as criminals. The infatuation with the wall and portrayal of illegal immigrants as threats only strengthens xenophobia and hawkishness in America. I ask, is that really what we want to be as a nation? Irrationally punitive and ill-informed?
End DACA for Good
Two weeks ago, President Donald Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that allowed children of illegal immigrants who have come to the United States to stay in the country to work and go to school, without the threat of deportation. This was implemented by President Obama in 2012 by way of executive order due to gridlock in Congress halting his agenda. This program covers about 800,000 people, known as “Dreamers.” Trump did not end the program abruptly, but gave Congress six months to create immigration policy, and any immigrant whose visa expires within those six months will be renewed. Instantly, when Trump announced this decision, the left denounced this decision by Trump as “wrong, self-defeating, and cruel,” by former president Obama, with Facebook executive Mark Zuckerberg writing on his personal page, “This is a sad day for our country.” This was coupled by celebrities, protestors, politicians, calling out the president for the decision he made. CNN immediately came out with a emotional propaganda video devoid of facts depicting the “Dreamers” crying in front of a camera about how they are going to be deported to Mexico.
But what was the action actually taken by the administration on this issue? Let me give a little background. In 2012, when Obama signed the executive order, he said in a speech to the Department of Homeland Security saying, “This is a temporary stop-gap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief.” Five years and nearly 1 million illegal immigrants later, Trump is ending a program Obama called temporary. Additionally, in article I, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, the Congress of the United States is given jurisdiction over “uniform rule of Naturalization.” This means that Congress, not the President, has the ability to enact lasting immigration reform policy. President Trump made the right decision, to obey the laws and directions of the Constitution, as well as seek out a permanent solution from Congress instead of just kicking the metaphorical can down the road. The liberal elites and mass media are worried that Congress may take Trump’s directive, introduce a bipartisan plan to fix the immigration problem that doesn’t allow them to exploit the emotions and fears of legal immigrants for democratic votes.
However, over the past two weeks, the story has differed slightly. Instead of taking a hardline stance, and demanding funding for a strong border wall and increased security, Trump has taken a softer approach to the solution in Congress, and even made a statement that the “wall can wait.” This flip-flop embodies the establishment Republicans that over the past two decades have caved to leftists on a very important issue, one that Trump ran on and should be sticking with. While I support giving the issue to Congress, Trump should utilize his Republican majority and achieve phasing out for DACA, and most importantly, funding for the wall. Trump won my support due to his immigration stance, and he cannot waver on that issue now.