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DACA and Dreamers: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

James Shott · Sep. 12, 2017

The Democrat/liberal crisis of the moment has changed. Since President Donald Trump ordered the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) suspended last week, DACA has totally blown the Russian election collusion (that was fervently hoped for, but didn’t cause Hillary Clinton’s self-destructive campaign to fail) off their rumor sheet and whisper campaign.

And leftists have retreated to their safe and familiar habits, and are again calling names. Trump is “cruel.” So many Democrats have used that word lately that it must have been directed from party leaders. It is suspected that in response to Trump’s action the Democrat Party issued a talking point: “Say it’s cruel! Say it’s mean! Say it’s heartless! And stick to the message!”

The Left’s beloved DACA program has many failings beyond being unconstitutional. Former President Barack Obama hated it before he loved it and issued the executive order. Twenty-two times he told the world that such a thing was beyond the power of a mere president, and he couldn’t do it because he wasn’t the emperor of the U.S. Then he did what he couldn’t do, calling it a temporary stopgap measure. “This is temporary. Congress needs to act,” he said.

What Is DACA? According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): “On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.”

At first glance DACA may seem like a humanitarian action, designed to give illegal aliens whose parents brought them here as children a temporarily protected, but not lawful, status if they meet “several guidelines.”

But Trump is passing the ball for this immigration matter to where it actually belongs: Congress. That is one thing Obama actually was right about.

All Trump did was to remove an improper order and put the matter where it belongs. Sensible people won’t criticize Trump for that. And Congress has six months to do the appropriate thing for these illegal alien residents. At least until then, the DACA people are as safe today as they were before Trump’s action.

But the real problem is that, like so many things in the Obama administration, despite there being laws and regulations that are unambiguous, administrative agencies frequently ignored them and did so without penalty. Unsurprisingly, it turns out that the DACA implementation was rife with failure and fraud.

A story by Margaret Menge detailing much of these irregularities was published on LifeZette online last week. Quoting Matt O'Brien, an attorney who until last year was a manager in the investigative unit of USCIS, “As many as half of the approximately 800,000 people who now have work permits under DACA may have lied on their applications to get approved.”

Worse, O'Brien said, “These people were almost always approved anyway, because of the attitude of managers in the field and the chief counsel’s office.” He added, “The whole way the program is set up, it just facilitated fraud, and I’m not entirely confident that wasn’t intentional.”

With six months allotted for Congress to act, some believe that there are enough potential votes to create a path to citizenship for these DACA recipients, referred to as Dreamers, for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. And they can renew their two-year work permits if they were to expire before March 5, 2018.

But Jessica Vaughn, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, says this would be a mistake. “USCIS never verified anything people put on their DACA applications,” she said, citing an example of how dangerous this might be. A DACA applicant named Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez was granted DACA status despite USCIS admitting it had not checked this gang member’s application. He went on to murder four people in Charlotte, NC. The government agency merely accepted his application as truthful and accurate, never checking any of it.

She said that under George W. Bush, applications were thoroughly checked. “It’s the type of due diligence that the private sector does routinely,” she said.

O'Brien confirmed the failure of the application process, saying, “I personally witnessed an alarming number of people who had gang affiliations applying for this program,” most of whom, he said, were approved.

Menge’s article concludes by noting that the “approval rate for DACA in the two most recent quarters of fiscal year 2017 was approximately 97 percent, with only 3 percent of applications denied.”

Contrary to the idea that DACA is a humanitarian effort to help children of illegal aliens brought here by their parents, it is just another avenue the Left uses to allow anyone into the country, with no regard for their potential to harm American citizens.

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