Tag Archives: DACA

DACA appears to be on the ropes at SCOTUS

The word out of Washington, D.C. is out: The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority appears to be readying a decision that will enable the deportation of U.S. residents who were brought here illegally as children by their parents.

Donald Trump sought to have them sent back to their country of origin, even though these individuals know only life in the United States. They are the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals recipients.

DACA might be on the ropes.

The court will issue its decision in mid-2020, at the height of the presidential election. One should be wary of trying to predict what the court will rule.

The president has seated two new members on the court, giving him a narrow but solid conservative majority. I realize that elections have consequences and we well might learn next year just how dramatic those consequences can get.

President Obama issued an executive order that granted temporary amnesty from deportation for DACA recipients. Trump took office and then rescinded that order. Critics, such as yours truly, have called the rescission a heartless act. DACA recipients by and large have grown up as de facto Americans. They aren’t citizens, but they are full-fledged residents of this country. Many of them have become successful in many endeavors.

What would happen to them if they are sent to countries they do not know?

Well, the highest court in America will deliver its decision in due course. The hearing today, according to those who heard it, suggests the court is leaning heavily toward backing Trump on DACA.

This well could be a sad moment for many hundreds of thousands of U.S. residents.

Fix the DACA mess; restore humaneness to our immigration policy

 ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

A Facebook friend, a man I actually know and respect, brought up a point on an earlier blog post that I want to acknowledge here.

He agrees with my belief that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency needs to be repaired, not eliminated, but he cautions about the need to deal with the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals matter as well.

He is correct.

DACA recipients are being punished unjustly only because they were children when their parents sneaked them into the country illegally. The Donald Trump administration wants them deported. The president rescinded an executive order that President Obama signed that gave DACA residents a form of temporary amnesty from deportation.

ICE is under orders to find these folks and detain them.

This isn’t right. It’s cruel and it is inhumane to deport DACA recipients, many of whom have excelled scholastically in the only country they’ve ever known.

I should point out as well two previous Texas governors — George W. Bush and Rick Perry, both Republicans — have all but embraced the idea contained in the DACA executive order that Obama signed. They have supported initiatives, for instances, to grant DACA students in-state tuition at public colleges and universities in Texas. Why? Because they recognize the contributions these young students can make if they are allowed to succeed while continuing to reside in Texas.

ICE can do much good for the country as we seek to reform our immigration policy. I also agree with former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s campaigning for president, that the best way to ensure a thorough and lasting repair of ICE is to change presidents. Donald Trump won’t do it.

Indeed, DACA reform must be part of any effort to re-humanize our nation’s immigration policy.

What about those DACA recipients?

You remember the folks who were granted resident status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, correct?

Yep, those are the DACA movement folks who have been swallowed up by the political debate over whether they should be deported to countries they’ve never known.

As the country writhes in pain over the latest spasm of gun violence, much of it aimed at Latin Americans who have come to this country, I want to revisit briefly an issue that seems to have been shoved under the bed.

Donald Trump rescinded Barack Obama’s executive order granting DACA status to those who came here as children when their children entered the country illegally. DACA recipients were deemed to be criminals, even though many of them came here as small children.

Many of them have come of age as de facto Americans. They have performed well in school. They have earned academic honors. They have succeeded in business. They have reared their own families.

Oh, but they are “illegal residents” of the only country they have known. Their country of origin is a foreign place. They have no ties to them.

I want the Democratic Party presidential candidates to speak more clearly about how we can settle this DACA matter. My own preference is for them to pledge to restore the DACA standing given them by President Obama. Allow them to work toward citizenship or permanent resident status. Do not deport them, sending them to countries for which they have no connection.

Yes, we need to discuss the shootings. We need to search for ways to end this violence. We need to stem the hate speech that prompted someone to murder those victims in El Paso.

We also need to find a solution to the DACA matter that lingers. Kicking them out of the country is no answer.

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.