Tag Archives: DACA

Why punish DACA recipients for their parents’ ‘sins’?

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.

Immigration reform? Remember that matter?

The nation is getting all tangled up in this discussion over whether to build Trump’s Wall along our southern border.

Democrats and a growing number of Republicans don’t want it; Donald Trump’s followers — led by the cadre of talk-radio blowhards — are all for it.

What I am not hearing — maybe I’m not paying enough attention — is any serious discussion about how we might actually apply a permanent repair to the problem of illegal immigration.

How about turning our attention to serious immigration reform legislation?

We keep making feeble attempts at it. We get sidetracked and discouraged because too many members of Congress are resisting those calls for reform.

Then we hear about data that tell us that a huge percentage of those who are in the United States illegally are those whose work visas have expired. So, they arrive here legally but become illegal residents because those visas have run out. These one-time legal residence then are called “criminals” and “lawbreakers.” The become fodder for the president and his supporters to erect that wall along our southern border.

Can’t there be a concerted push to hire more administrative personnel for the Immigration and Naturalization Service to process these visas or to speed up citizenship requests from those who want to become Americans?

The president did offer a form of compromise during that partial government shutdown by suggesting a three-year reprieve from deportation for so-called Dreamers, those who were brought here as children when their parents sneaked in illegally. That’s a start. However, Donald Trump connected that idea with more money to build his wall, which made it a non-starter for those who oppose The Trump Wall.

So now the president has declared a “national emergency.” There is no such thing on our border with Mexico. The only “emergency,” it seems to me, rests with the interminable delays that occur when foreign-born residents’ work visas run out or when they seek citizenship to the Land of Opportunity.

How about getting busy applying a permanent repair to the problem?

Dreamers must be a part of this shutdown solution

Donald J. Trump has managed to return the so-called “Dreamers” to the top of our minds as he and Congress hassle with each other over how to resolve this idiotic partial government shutdown catastrophe.

The Dreamers are those U.S. residents who were brought to this country illegally by their parents. Most of them likely came here as children. Perhaps they were babies, toddlers, very young people.

They were granted special status by Barack Obama who signed an executive order establishing a rule called Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals. Donald Trump rescinded that order, effectively putting these DACA recipients on notice that they would be deported, sent back to the country of their birth.

The government is partially shut down because Trump wants to build The Wall along our southern border. Congressional Democrats oppose it.

Then the president offered to give DACA recipients a three-year reprieve from deportation provided Congress allocates $5.7 billion to build The Wall. He has inched a little closer to the other side.

The Dreamers need to be given a break. They are here because of an illegal act that their parents committed. These U.S. residents — de facto Americans — need not be punished because they were too young to refuse to follow Mom and Dad across the U.S. border illegally.

Trump, though, faces pressure from his far-right flank. Talk-show hosts hate the DACA rule. They want all these individuals who know no other country than the United States to leave this country. Their uncertain future? Big deal, the right-wing talkers say. It’s not their problem.

I want the Dreamers to get a break. I want them to live in the country of their parents’ choice without fear of being sent into the great unknown.

POTUS moving ball slowly toward compromise

I’ve been rolling Donald J. Trump’s latest gambit on this government shutdown nonsense around in my noggin.

Here is what I’ve come up with: The president seems to be inching ever so slowly toward compromise with congressional Democrats who do not want to build The Wall along our southern border.

I don’t want The Wall built either. Or whatever form it takes: slats, chain-link fence, steel wall, concrete. None of it sounds appealing to me as an American who hates The Wall but who supports the notion of enhancing border security.

Trump, though, has pitched an enticing notion: He is willing to grant illegal immigrants who came here as children a three-year “amnesty” that enables them to start walking down a “path to citizenship.” We call ’em Dreamers. They came here when their parents entered the nation illegally. They formerly were protected under a program called Deferred Action for Children Arrivals, or DACA. Trump rescinded that Barack Obama-issued executive order.

Now he’s budging a good bit on giving DACA recipients a break.

That is progress. It’s not enough to suit Democrats. Interestingly, the president also has pi**** off hardliners on his far right who don’t want DACA recipients to get a break, even though they did nothing wrong on their own to get here; many thousands of them have grown into adulthood knowing only life as de facto Americans. They have become productive residents of the United States. Many of them have excelled scholastically and have contributed greatly to life in the Land of Opportunity.

So . . . what now?

I would hope those on the left and the right would seek a way to understand that Trump has begun moving the ball just a little bit.

It’s an effort to end this shutdown, which has thrust 800,000 Americans into the ranks of the unpaid and unemployed. They need relief. They need to get back to work.

This shutdown, precipitated by Donald Trump’s silly boast that he would be willing to take the heat for the consequences, needs to end. If a three-year reprieve for DACA recipients can end this stalemate, then I am all in.

Beto: No on the wall, yes on enhanced border security

Beto O’Rourke has been talking a lot in general terms about appealing to our better angels and seeking to end the politics of division, anger and bigotry.

Oh, and the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate also has managed to articulate a sensible border policy that does not include construction of a wall along our nation’s southern border.

O’Rourke stated this week a couple of key points: We don’t need to build a wall; he wants to grant citizenship to U.S. residents who were brought here illegally by their parents when they were children; and he wants to shore up border security by using enhanced technology to find those who are sneaking into this country illegally.

Now, does that sound like someone who favors “open borders,” which has become one of Donald John Trump’s go-to attack lines as he campaigns for Republican U.S. House and Senate candidates?

I don’t hear that.

O’Rourke is running against Ted Cruz in this year’s Senate campaign. I am glad to know he wants to help protect the recipients of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrival policy, which of course is no surprise.

The wall? It’s a boondoggle. We cannot afford to build it and Mexico damn sure isn’t going to pay for it.

And, yes, I endorse efforts to shore up border security to prevent immigrants from sneaking into the United States without proper documentation.

Beto O’Rourke and I are on the same page.

Wishing a former governor could weigh in on DACA

I am quite aware that Rick Perry’s job as energy secretary inhibits the areas on which he can comment publicly. He is limited to talking about energy policy.

You see, he also is a former Texas governor who — if memory serves — got into some hot water with hard-line conservatives within his party because of his relatively generous views about undocumented immigrants.

The Republican governor used to support the idea of allowing undocumented immigrants who grew up in Texas, who came of age here, to enroll in colleges and universities while paying in-state tuition rates. Those rates are considerably less expensive than those who live out of state and who choose to attend higher education institutions in Texas.

Thus, I wish the former governor could speak out against the notion of ending the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, which is what the Trump administration — which Perry now serves as energy boss — wants to eliminate.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office is going to court next week to continue the fight on behalf of the Trump administration.

As the Texas Tribune reports: On Aug. 8, federal District Judge Andrew Hanen will hear the state’s request to have the program preliminarily halted while the issue meanders its way through the federal court system. The hearing comes nearly a year after President Donald Trump promised to end DACA in September by phasing it out over six months. But three different courts have since ruled that the administration must keep the program —which protects immigrants brought into the U.S. as children from deportation and allows them to obtain a two-year work permit — intact for now.

DACA was created by the Obama administration. It is intended to grant temporary reprieve from deportation of those who were brought to this country illegally by their parents. Many DACA recipients came here as babies; they know only life in the United States. They need not be deported, given that many of them already have established themselves as de facto citizens of this country.

Donald Trump wants to eliminate it, seemingly only because it was left over by the presidency of Barack Obama.

If only the secretary of energy, Rick Perry, who was right about his more humane view of how we treat these immigrants could be heard within the president’s inner circle.

‘Dreamers’ are still getting kicked around

Oh, man, I hate that so-called “Dreamers” keep getting kicked around like the political football they have become.

It happened yet again as the U.S. House of Representatives voted down a compromise immigration bill that, among other things, gave Dreamers a “pathway to U.S. citizenship.” Conservatives saw that “pathway” provision and translated it to “amnesty.” They would have none of it.

This bill also included money for a wall. I don’t give a damn about the wall, other than I hate the idea of it. My thought today is about the Dreamers.

Dreamers are those who came this country as the children of illegal immigrant parents who brought them across the border in the search for a better life. They were granted a temporary reprieve from deportation by President Obama who signed an executive order creating the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program, aka DACA.

DACA residents deserve that pathway. They shouldn’t be deported because their parents brought them here. Many of them were babies. They know no other country. They are de facto Americans.

But in the Age of Trump, all illegal immigrants — even DACA residents — are now thought to be criminals. They need to be deported.

This is heartless. It is inhumane. It is un-American.

DACA needs to stay in force

Hundreds of thousands of U.S. residents are being kicked around like the political football they have become.

They likely didn’t dream it would happen. But it has.

I’m talking about Dreamers, the former under-aged illegal immigrants who came here when their parents sneaked them into the country. They built their lives in the United States; they know no other country, let alone the country they left.

President Barack Obama issued an executive order called the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, aka DACA. It protected these U.S. residents from deportation to countries they do not know.

Obama left office. Donald J. Trump rescinded the DACA order, and then gave Congress a deadline to enact legislation that preserves it.

Now some states — including Texas — are suing the Trump administration demanding an end to DACA. Texas officials no longer want these individuals living here, even though so many of them — thousands of them — have become contributing de facto Americans.

As Buzzfeed reports: The Republican attorneys general argue that an injunction in the new case in Texas would make the nationwide orders requiring the administration to resume processing applications effectively moot — those cases dealt with challenges to how the Trump administration chose to end DACA, the states said, not the underlying question of whether DACA itself was lawful, which no court has directly addressed.

Some of them have excelled academically. They have graduated from high school, gone to college, earned degrees, stayed in the United States, paid their taxes, gotten good jobs, raised children of their own (who were born here and became instant U.S. citizens).

Now this nation wants to send these individuals back to nations they do not know? Are you kidding me?

This is inhumane. It is cruel. It is not by any stretch of the imagination a “family friendly” tactic that pleases only the “base” of one political party, the Republican Party.

I understand that Donald Trump wants to do whatever he can to eliminate illegal immigration. I, too, support efforts to bolster law enforcement efforts along our entire border — both north and south, as well as along the thousands of miles of Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastlines.

However, many DACA recipients have earned their spurs. They belong here and shouldn’t be punished because of something their parents did by bringing their then-small children across the border illegally. Those former children are not “law breakers.”

Federal courts: not really politics free

The federal judiciary is supposed to be free of political pressure.

But is it? Really? Oh, I tend to think not.

I find myself looking at federal court rulings a bit differently these days. For instance, the D.C. federal judge who ruled that the Trump administration must keep honoring the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program is an interesting fellow.

Judge John Bates is a President George W. Bush appointee. Thus, I tend to take his decision a bit more seriously than I would if he were appointed by President Barack Obama. Why? Because he upheld an Obama administration decision to create DACA in the first place. DACA, by the way, is the rule that protects U.S. residents who were brought here illegally by their parents; they’re called “Dreamers” because they are pursuing the “American Dream.” Get it?

The founders set up a federal judiciary that was supposed to be free of political pressure. It really isn’t. The judges who get these lifetime appointments are nonetheless examined carefully by people such as me and others who look for political reasons to endorse or condemn whatever ruling they hand down.

That is not to say that they base their decisions according to what others might say about them. Indeed, several Supreme Court justices over the years have veered sharply away from the course the presidents who nominated them hoped they would travel. And they get their share of condemnation from those who want them to adhere to the presidents’ political leanings.

But … they are political appointees. Make no mistake about it.

Dreamers find a new friend in the courts

The nation’s so-called Dreamers might not have a friend in the White House — even though he professes to “love” them — they are getting some needed relief from the federal courts.

Dreamers are those who came to this country under the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals. They were brought here by their parents, yes, illegally, but they shouldn’t be punished — or deported — because of something Mom and Dad did.

A D.C. federal judge has just ruled that DACA recipients shouldn’t be deported by the federal government. Moreover, District Judge John Bates has ordered the government to accept new applications.

I’ll point out here that Judge Bates was appointed to the bench by Republican President George W. Bush. Donald J. Trump, also a Republican president, has vowed to eliminate the DACA program established by President Barack Obama. He keeps running into roadblocks set up by the federal judiciary. Judge Bates is just the latest.

In his ruling, Bates said, according to The Washington Post: ” … the Trump administration’s decision to phase out the program starting in March “was arbitrary and capricious because the Department (of Homeland Security) failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.”

I will keep saying this  until I run out of breath — or until my fingers fall off — but the DACA recipients know no other country than the United States. To deport them, sending them back to countries they do not know, is heartless and inhumane. DACA is intended to grant these individuals a temporary reprieve from the threat of deportation, which the Obama administration hoped would incentivize them to seek permanent legal immigrant status or U.S. citizenship.

Donald Trump doesn’t see it that way.

I disagree with the president’s assertion that DACA recipients should be deported. I also am heartened by the courts’ persistent stance in defense of U.S. residents who deserve a chance to continue living in the Land of Opportunity.