The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is in the news again. Indeed, it never seems to go away largely because some in Congress want to eliminate an executive order that President Obama signed in 2012.
For the life of my I keep asking: Why must we punish law-abiding U.S. residents for something their parents did when their children were too young to resist?
Obama signed the DACA order to protect those who came here as children when their parents entered the United States illegally. Many of those DACA recipients came here as infants or toddlers. Mom and Dad entered the United States in search of a better life. They just didn’t get into the country legally. They snuck in under the proverbial radar.
Over the years, many of those children grew into responsible adults in the only country they knew as young adults and older. They were educated in our schools, they attended college, they graduated with honors. They went to work. They have paid their taxes. They have lived as de facto U.S. citizens, except that they’re here illegally.
Barack Obama intended to protect them from immediate deportation, enabling them a path toward obtaining citizenship or at minimum permanent resident status.
Then Obama left office. In comes Donald Trump, vowing to eliminate the DACA order. He did so. He ordered the immediate deportation of these individuals. Why? Because in the strictest definition of the word, they are “lawbreakers.”
I admit — albeit grudgingly — that Trump is right. Technically, that is. The more humane approach would be to extend DACA benefits for those who came only because of something their parents did.
A federal court panel has just ruled that Trump’s order rescinding the DACA order was “arbitrary and capricious.” The president is sure to fight it.
I just am baffled that the administration continues to insist on punishing U.S. residents only because they happened to be born to individuals who sought to skirt U.S. immigration law in search of a better life for their families.
I’ll divulge a little secret about Donald Trump’s Cabinet. It happens to include a gentleman — Energy Secretary (and former Texas Gov.) Rick Perry — who once touted the notion of allowing DACA recipients to pay in-state college tuition prices, the same as any resident of Texas. So, you see, Trump hasn’t surrounded himself totally with heartless ideologues.
If only he would listen to others in his administration who share Rick Perry’s view that DACA does more good than harm for the United States of America.