Tag Archives: Dreamers

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 Donald J. Trump rescinded the DACA order, and then gave Congress a deadline to enact legislation that preserves it.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

SCOTUS gives Dreamers a reprieve; get to work, Congress

Several hundred thousand U.S. residents have just been given a reprieve from a most unlikely source: the Supreme Court of the United States.

The court today declined to consider a Trump administration request to expedite a decision on whether a plan to revoke a Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals directive issued by Donald Trump.

This means the so-called “Dreamers,” those who affected by DACA, have more time to remain in the United States even though they were brought here illegally by their parents when they were children.

According to Politico: The Justice Department had asked the justices to skip the usual appeals court process and review a district court judge’s ruling requiring the administration to resume renewals of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The Supreme Court declined the request Monday with no justices dissenting. The high court could still weigh in later, but the move suggests the justices want to allow one or more appeals courts to take up the question before considering it.

A federal judge has blocked the administration’s plan to cancel President Barack Obama’s DACA order. The issue is now before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Justice Department wanted the court to allow a sped-up process to resolve it in time for the March 5 deadline that the president had set for Congress to come up with a legislative solution for DACA recipients.

I would have thought the Supreme Court would side with the administration, given its ideological bent. Silly me. The court has given DACA recipients more time to stay in the United States, the only country many of them have ever known.

Now, to Congress, I want to offer this word: Get to work to find a solution. These U.S. residents must not be deported and returned to nations they do not know.

Still favor in-state tuition for all Texas residents

You are welcome to call me a bleeding-heart liberal if you wish, but I am going to make this point once again.

Texas is blessed with a large body of young people who want to improve themselves and who want to attend our public colleges and universities. Even those who are living here illegally because Mom and Dad sneaked them into Texas from somewhere else.

Accordingly, those de facto Texans, people who have grown up here as full-blown Texas residents, deserve to pay in-state tuition to attend those higher education institutions.

I wrote about this most recently three years ago:

Texans split on in-state college tuition issue

I still believe to this day in that policy. The state’s two previous Republican governors — George W. Bush and Rick Perry — both supported the idea of offering in-state tuition privileges to these students.

I’m unclear where Gov. Greg Abbott stands on this. My guess is that the GOP base is pressuring him to kick those students out of Texas. Were he to do that, he would perform a profound disservice to the state.

I wrote in 2015, “Allowing the in-state tuition rates for these students does not harm the public university system in Texas, as some have contended. It enriches the system by granting young students a chance to attain the goals they have set for themselves — while living as Texans.”

They are making their dreams come true.

Trump would ‘love a shutdown’?

Donald Trump would “love” a shutdown of the federal government.

He’d love it. He said it many times today during a White House meeting on gang violence. The president, quite naturally, blames Democrats if a shutdown occurs. Democrats, he said, oppose border security; they oppose benefits for the military. Democrats are nasty. They’re “un-American” because they didn’t clap for him while he delivered “really good news” during the president’s State of the Union speech the other day.

The president really should not want a shutdown of the government, as Republican U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock told him during the gang violence meeting. “Both sides” learned that a shutdown hurts them, and the public doesn’t like it one damn bit, she said.

Ah, but the president still would “love” a shutdown.

This is how you “tell it like it is,” right? Trump is the first president in my memory who has said — in effect — that he would favor a shutting down of the government he was elected to administer.

To what end do we close offices and deny taxpayers the full service from the government for which they pay? To build a wall across our southern border.

This is not how you govern, Mr. President. Honest.

Geniuses surrender to idiots

Bill Cassidy has produced — to my mind — the most memorable quote from the current government shutdown/game of chicken.

The nation, said the Louisiana Republican U.S. senator over the weekend, was “founded by geniuses but is being governed by idiots.”

You go, Sen. Cassidy!

Sen. Cassidy faces his critics

Yes, the idiots have taken over. The men and women who comprise the Congress, along with the individual who sits in the White House, cannot govern the greatest nation on Earth.

Oh, no! They are bound up in a fight over a spending bill. They cannot settle their disagreements over how to control illegal immigration. The people caught in the grip of this government sausage grinder happen to be individuals who were brought here as children when their parents sneaked into the country illegally.

Republican hard liners cannot find it in what passes for their heart to extend protections for those so-called “Dreamers.” These folks were raised in the United States; this is the only country they know. But the GOP “base” wants to send them back to their country of origin?

What the hell … ?

As a result, the government is now officially paralyzed.

The idiot in chief — the president — can’t decide whether to approve an extension of those protections. He is getting pressure from his GOP base.

I continue to believe that this is the Trump Shutdown. He is joined by the idiots in Congress. I won’t assign all the blame to just one party. There’s plenty of blame to go along.

However, we have just a single president. He is The Man. He has an entire nation as his constituency. Not all of us approve of the way he is running the government; indeed, more of us voted for the other major-party candidate than for the guy who actually won.

Where in the world are the geniuses?

DACA outcome remains worrisome

Donald John Trump spoke sympathetically about the need to craft a bill of “love” as it regards immigration reform.

The president used that language that some of us thought was a signal that he might bend a bit on his insistence that we kick every single illegal immigrant out of the United States of America.

I remain worried bigly about the fate of those illegal immigrants who came here not of their own volition, but because they were brought here when they were children by their parents.

They are the so-called Dreamers. They are recipients of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals policy enacted by President Barack H. Obama. The president granted these residents temporary reprieve from deportation while they sought a pathway to permanent legal status or perhaps citizenship.

It’s a humane policy. It allows these individuals to continue living as Americans in the only country they’ve ever known. There have been many success stories involving DACA residents: they have achieved academic excellence; they have enrolled in college; they have founded successful businesses.

Trump, though, eliminated the DACA rule. He said Congress had until March to find a legislative solution.

And then a federal judge in California weighed in with an injunction that orders the president to delay the elimination of DACA . The White House calls the judge’s decision “outrageous.”

What I consider outrageous would be to round up these Dreamers and send them to back to their country of origin — which are, pardon the intended pun, foreign to them.

I want to implore Congress and the president to think about the “love” they say they want to enact. An immigration package ought to include some form of DACA that allows these individuals to stay here, to continue to contribute to our national fabric.

These residents need not be banished to a country they do not know.

If the president is going to insist on a bill of “love,” here is his opportunity to deliver on it.

Immigration reform might be on the horizon

There you go, Mr. President.

Sit down with Democrats and Republicans, talk out loud in front of the media about ways to reform the nation’s immigration policy.

Before you know it, you can get leaders from both parties speaking encouragingly about the prospects.

Donald Trump led a lengthy meeting today in the White House with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders. He talked openly with them about allowing so-called “Dreamers” to stay in the nation while beefing up border security and perhaps giving greater consideration to families when considering granting legal status to immigrants.

The president and lawmakers say they have reached a sort of tentative agreement on an immigration reform package. A key component could be a way to preserve a portion of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals provision, which then-President Obama established as a way to prevent the deportation of illegal immigrants who were brought here as children.

Trump said he would ask lawmakers to hammer out the details and promised to sign whatever bill they bring to his desk.

See? This bipartisan approach to legislating actually holds key opportunities for leaders of both parties.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy noted that this approach means “both sides” have to surrender something and that he would be “the first” to offer some compromise.

Those of us who want comprehensive immigration reform can feel a bit heartened by what transpired today. According to The Hill : Trump expressed sympathy to immigrants who came to the country illegally at a young age and now face deportation, urging negotiators to pass “a bill of love.”

Now, will all this go down in flames if Democrats say something that ticks off the president? That’s happened before. The president does have this habit of reacting badly when he hears a negative thought.

There’s little likelihood the bill will be completed in time to avoid a government shutdown on Jan. 19. Here’s an idea: Approve yet another temporary funding measure and get to work without delay on repairing the immigration system.

POTUS looking like he’s ready to dicker over DACA

I’ve spent most of the past eight months or so telling you why I believe Donald J. Trump Sr. is such a loser as president of the United States. I now want to say something good about him. Shocking, I know. But here it comes.

He has infuriated many of his more conservative core of supporters by doing the unthinkable: negotiate with Democrats in Congress. The latest attempt at deal brokering involves the Differed Action for Childhood Arrivals matter.

Trump rescinded the DACA order a few days ago. He set a six-month phase-out window, enticing Congress to act on a legislative fix that would allow undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children to remain in the United States so they could seek citizenship or permanent legal immigrant status.

He dined with Chuck and Nancy, aka Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the White House. They struck a form of an “agreement.” Trump would work with Democrats to preserve DACA. Schumer and Pelosi said they and the president agreed to a deal that would preserve DACA, enhance border security, but forgo money to build the wall across our southern border.

Trump has disputed the wall issue. He still wants to build the wall. I and many others think that’s a bad idea.

Trump stuns nation’s capital.

The heartening aspect of all this, despite the chaos arising from the dinner date at the White House, is that the president is now working constructively with those who oppose his policies.

For the 65 million or so Americans out here who voted for Hillary Clinton for president, this is a hopeful sign that the president is finally — finally! — understanding that governance is a team sport that requires presidents to seek common ground with what is euphemistically called the “loyal opposition.”

Have I changed my mind about Trump’s fitness for his job? Not in the least. However, in the spirit of fairness, I am delighted to offer a good word and encourage the president to do what he can to preserve DACA — and to keep working with congressional Democrats.