DREAMERS ARE HOSTAGE TO CONGRESS
Last spring I tackled the confused control of immigration which was one of President Trump’s campaign issues. At that time “dreamers” appeared to be a safe haven for those foreigners who entered the United States illegally as children and received entitlements to remain under special status.
Now Trump is taking action on legalizing the residential status of the dreamers which is estimated to be 690,000 between the ages of five and 30. Of course, all the pro-immigrant groups began massive protests. Somehow there must be an amnesty compromise for dreamers as it would be impossible to find and deport that many foreign students and workers.
Most of the dreamers are attending school or are employed in the labor pool, mostly as skilled technicians. Employers in Silicon Valley are particularly concerned because they hire many dreamers for the high-tech industry where there is a demand for trained workers.
The use of two acronyms for this group of special-status foreign residents sometimes get confused. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) has been the policy for five years under presidential executive order. The legislation was brought before Congress several times but never passed both houses. The qualified DACA residents are called dreamers (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors), another legislation that was never passed by Congress.
Why has Congress taken 16 years to deal with this legislation? Immigration reform is the political can that past presidents and Congress have kicked down the road all these years. Now President Trump is calling for action and taking all the blame for his abrupt challenge for Congress to legislate DACA.
Protesters across the nation are massing to keep dreamers’ protected from deportation, but they target the wrong authority. Congress is the place to resolve the immigration inequities, not President Trump. He has the guts to cancel a presidential executive order that is unconstitutional and illegal.
Congress has had 16 years to do the job without success, so blame those members that use immigration reform for their political posturing. Now they have six months to replace the illegal executive orders used by Presidents Bush and Obama to dodge immigration reform.
So far in his nine months in office, Trump had little success in getting his agenda through Congress. The bipartisan gap is wider than ever. It’s time for people to confront their Washington representatives with the necessity to legislate the nation’s business and stop their political pomposity.
In a surprise report, The Economist, a constant critic of the administration, supported Trump’s position on the DACA issue. The news magazine recognized that the decision to end DACA was a victory for the rule of law. Apparently Congress, empowered to make laws, has lost sight of its responsibility. Even President Obama publicly announced that he doubted that he had the authority to issue the executive order for DACA. Where was Congress?
The choice for DACA is not between the rule of law and rule by presidential edict. It is a choice between two legal failures: unconstitutional executive orders and immigration laws impossible to enforce, The Economist explained.
The cost of deportation is more than the FBI, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals and the Bureau of Alcohol operations. At the rate of current deportation, it would take 40 years to expunge all DACA residents. Has Congress considered these options in lieu of passing legislation that provides for dreamers’ legal status?
The dreamers have residential status under two-year renewable visas if they attend or graduated from high school or university, served in the military, came here under age 16 and do not have a criminal record. They pay $495 for a two-year permit and provide a great deal of personal data. If they lose their residential status, most would probably go into the shadows with the other estimated 11 million illegals.
So now Congress has five months to legislate DACA or deport a valuable work force.