The Patriot Post® · A History of the DACA-logue
The thorny issue of illegal immigration has divided America for more than half a century, and for more than half a century, Democrats have been dishonest and duplicitous in their negotiations with Republicans on how to fix it.
In 1965, Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act. At the time, Democrat Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) promised, “[It] will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.” All of his promises were proven demonstrably false.
Two decades later, in an effort to deal with the estimated four million illegals residing in the U.S., Republican President Ronald Reagan made a Faustian bargain with Democrats, signing the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, which granted amnesty to illegals in exchange for Democrat promises to secure the border and prevent the hiring of illegals. Democrats got their amnesty; Reagan got empty promises and a tripling of the illegal alien population.
In 2006, Democrat Senators Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Bill Nelson, Barbara Boxer, Debbie Stabenow and others voted for 700 miles of border fencing. At the time, Clinton said, “Well, look, I voted numerous times … to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in and I do think you have to control your borders.” Today many of those same senators are threatening to shut down the government if President Donald Trump keeps his promise to follow through on their promise.
In 2012, Obama, announcing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which essentially granted amnesty for an estimated 800,000 children of illegal aliens who arrived before the age of 16, claimed the action was temporary. He declared, “Now, let’s be clear — this is not amnesty, this is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.”
Obama had previously admitted numerous times that such action was not within his constitutional authority, yet when Congress, including many Democrats, failed to pass the DREAM Act, Obama spat on the Constitution and implemented DACA anyway.
That brings us to the latest leftist outrage du jour — President Trump’s decision to end DACA. Clarifying the process and timeline, Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared Tuesday that no new DACA applications will be considered after September 5th, but anyone with a DACA permit expiring between now and March 5, 2018, can apply for a two-year renewal. The program will also be extended until March 2018, giving Congress six months to craft a legislative solution, which is the constitutionally appropriate way.
Sessions said, “We are people of compassion and we are people of law, but there is nothing compassionate about the failure to enforce immigration laws. … The compassionate thing to do is end the lawlessness, enforce our laws, and, if Congress chooses to make changes to those laws, to do so through the process set forth by our Founders, in a way that advances the interests of the American people.”
President Trump followed, stating his desire to work with Congress to “resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion — but through the lawful democratic process.” Trump also said, “As President, my highest duty is to defend the American people and the Constitution of the United States of America. At the same time, I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws. The legislative branch, not the executive branch, writes these laws — this is the bedrock of our Constitutional system, which I took a solemn oath to preserve, protect, and defend.”
Imagine that; a president who respects the Constitution and its limitations and restraints on his own power.
It should be no surprise that Democrats are hysterical, claiming that ending Obama’s “temporary” program is cruel, heartless, racist and will cause New York to be completely submerged in five years (oops, sorry … different hysterical outrage).
The reality is that the United States already takes in more immigrants than any other country. Another reality is that there are more than seven billion people on Earth, almost all with a lower standard of living than the average American, and we simply do not have the resources to bring them all here.
Despite the lamentations of the progressive prevaricators, Trump has created a real opportunity to deal with this divisive issue once and for all, indicating his willingness to extend legal status to DREAMers in exchange for secure borders, an end to illegal immigration, and putting the needs of American citizens first.
Showing good faith, immigration hawk Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) offered his support for a compromise, saying, “We ought to take care of [DREAMers]” who came to America illegally “through no fault of their own.”
The problem of incentivizing illegal immigration can be resolved by securing the border before offering any kind of amnesty, as well as passing the RAISE Act, which prioritizes legal immigration based on America’s needs, reducing low-skilled migration and strictly limiting chain migration. The disingenuousness of the Democrat position is revealed in their response to the effects of Trump’s enforcement of our immigration laws, which has already led to a significant reduction in illegal border crossers. Progressives now complain that the reduction in illegal labor is driving U.S. farm wages up. But isn’t that what they said they wanted?
It’s time for Congress to do right by the American people and serve their interests, rather than the interests of illegals and corporations seeking cheap labor. It’s time to secure the border and establish a rational immigration system based on the needs of the American people. Ending lawless executive amnesties is a good start.