Democrats Overplay Their Hand With Extreme DACA Demands
There's a difference between DACA recipients and what might be called "DACA-plus."
The current immigration debate is surreal, worthy of a chapter in a Lewis Carrol novel, where logic is turned upside down and words have no meaning whatsoever because they mean what their utterers want them to mean in that moment.
The current crisis du jour is the pending end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as “DACA,” through which Barack Obama granted protection against deportation for hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens.
In 2010, with Democrats firmly in control of Congress, Obama faced immense pressure to push amnesty for millions of illegals. At first, Obama rightly recognized the limits of his power, stating, “I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself.” In March 2011, he reiterated that position, saying, “With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case.” In 2012, desperate for Hispanic voters to bail him out at the ballot box, Obama did an about-face and announced the implementation of the DACA program.
Of course, Democrats never allow the truth to ruin a political narrative, so despite Obama’s confession that DACA is unconstitutional, and despite the courts concurring, Democrats now claim President Donald Trump is a heartless racist for ending a program that Obama had no right to implement. And two activist judges have issued orders to block Trump’s move.
In actuality, Trump is being far more compassionate than the law requires. In exchange for securing the border and ending chain migration and the visa lottery, Trump is offering to grant not only amnesty but a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegals — nearly three times more than signed up for Obama’s DACA program.
Such generosity has been met with extreme demands by Democrats: amnesty without border security, and a continuation of chain migration, further exploding the number of illegals entering the U.S.
There is zero legal obligation for the U.S. to grant amnesty to any illegals, and even the claim of a moral obligation is tenuous at best. The blame lies solely with the parents of the illegals who were brought here as children in direct defiance of U.S. immigration laws.
Regardless, because Americans are a compassionate people, there is widespread agreement that those illegal alien children who are truly here through no fault of their own, and who have known no other country, should be allowed to stay. Even Numbers USA, which advocates for strict limits on immigration, supports giving the so-called “Dreamers” legal status.
It is important to delineate between the “Dreamers” under DACA and what might be called “DACA-plus.” The DACA recipients took advantage of Obama’s (illegal) program and applied for the deferral, paid fees and were issued work permits that allowed them to be hired by American employers. There were about 800,000 who took advantage of the program, minus the approximately 110,000 who were deported for crimes, or failed to renew their green cards, or married U.S. citizens. These are the people Americans support allowing to stay.
Not good enough, say Democrats. They cynically shut down the government last month to pressure Republicans to capitulate to their demands to expand the amnesty pool to include illegals who came here late in their teens, who were not born here, and for whom America is not their only home. It was a showdown they lost, but it was a revealing moment.
What is particularly galling to many Americans is to have their compassion rewarded with contempt and ingratitude. The job of the American government is first and foremost to protect the rights and interests of American citizens. As President Trump stated in his State of the Union Address, “My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans, to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. … Because Americans are dreamers, too.”
Democrats are overplaying their hand, and it will come back to bite them. Nothing will erode the goodwill of the American people like being told that their kindness is not only owed to the illegals who broke our laws but that it is insufficient.
No other nation takes in as many immigrants as the United States. No other nation treats them as well as we do. Not only have we allowed them to stay, we have spent tens of billions of dollars feeding, housing and educating them.
Compare that to Mexico, home to many of these illegals. Mexico is in the process of a harsh crackdown on illegals coming up through Central America. In Mexico, instead of access to welfare programs and education, illegals are rounded up in police raids, imprisoned, beaten and often tortured.
America’s current situation is untenable. Our immigration laws must be reformed to deal with those here and those who want to come here. But in doing so, Americans and their interests should come first. Not one single immigrant or illegal alien has a “right” to come to America. Those allowed to stay do so out of the kindness of the American people.
And limiting immigration to those who truly love America, who want to embrace our history and culture, who promise to obey our laws, and who will be a net gain for our country is not an unreasonable demand.