Tag Archives: Dreamers

DACA recipients get a boost from judge

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)exe

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Hundreds of thousands of U.S. residents have gotten a welcome boost from a federal judge who has informed the Homeland Security department to start accepting applications to become involved in a program established during the Obama administration.

These residents are those who came here illegally as children, brought to the United States by their parents. They’re called “Dreamers,” and the Obama administration shielded them from deportation through the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals act. President Obama established DACA by executive order; Donald Trump rescinded that order, seeking to end the DACA initiative.

Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis’ ruling restores DACA for those Dreamers, giving them a chance to seek citizenship or legal resident status.

Indeed, as I’ve noted already on this blog, DACA recipients need some compassion from the U.S. government. Many of them came here as children, some as toddlers or infants. They know no other country than the United States. They have no connection to their country of birth. The Trump administration sought to round them up and send them packing to their birth country, which to my way of thinking is absolutely cruel in the extreme.

President-elect Biden is vowing immigration reform legislation in his first 100 days in office. It must include a permanent restoration of DACA for those who are willing to do what they must to become citizens or legal residents.

They have been given another reprieve from a federal judge to start that process once again.

As CNN.com reported: “Immigrant youth have resisted this cruel administration’s continuous attacks, and once more we have won,” said Johana Larios. “Now, first-time applicants like me will be able to have access to the DACA program and current recipients will be able to breathe a little easier as DACA is restored to its original form. I am now able to look forward to returning to school, and feel safe that I won’t be separated from my community.”

I am hoping for a return to humane immigration policies.

Immigration reform on tap

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I want to look ahead to the new year, as I cannot wait for this one to disappear in the distance.

President-elect Biden got a question the other night from NBC News anchor Lester Holt: What do you want to accomplish in the first 100 days of your administration?

The new president’s answer? Immigration reform.

Biden said he intends to submit to Congress a detailed immigration reform package that he said must be done soon. It is time, he said, to improve an immigration system that has produced some horrific results, such as the separation of children from their parents when they are caught entering the United States illegally.

The president-elect already has declared his intention on Day One to sign an executive order that rescinds an earlier order that Donald Trump issued regarding the “dreamers” who live in this country. These are the individuals who came here illegally as children when their parents sneaked across the border.

Biden’s order would in effect restore an even earlier executive order that President Obama signed to protect those brought here under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA recipients were protected from immediate deportation. Trump wiped that order off the books and then threatened to round up hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients and send them back to their birth country. He didn’t care that DACA recipients have no memory of their country of origin; they have become de facto Americans.

Whatever immigration package the president-elect presents to Congress should contain a fast-track provision for DACA recipients to (a) seek U.S. citizenship or (b) seek some form of legal resident status.

Donald Trump has been listening to dark advice given him by senior (anti-)immigrant adviser Stephen Miller, a young man who appears to have little tolerance for any immigrants of any kind. Being the grandson of immigrants, Miller’s point of view offends me greatly, as does the attitude that Trump adopted during his term in office.

President Bush wanted to reform immigration policy. As did President Obama. The reform effort stalled during the Trump era.

I welcome President Biden’s effort to deliver on his 100-day vow.

Yes, on DACA order

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President-elect Biden has made clear his intention to walk directly into the Oval Office when he takes office and get right to work.

Biden’s transition team has announced the president-elect’s intention to sign several executive orders on Day One. One of them speaks directly to an issue that interests me greatly: restoration of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals order that Donald Trump revoked not long after he took office.

Former President Obama issued the DACA order initially, intending to shield from deportation those U.S. residents who had been brought here illegally by their parents; most of those DACA recipients have lived in this country since they were babies, infants, toddlers. They know no other country than the United States of America.

Obama sought to give them a fast track to seeking permanent legal resident status or citizenship. Trump wasn’t having any of it. He revoked his predecessor’s executive order. Now Trump’s immediate successor wants to restore the DACA program.

Good for you, Mr. President-elect!

I haven’t yet come to grips with precisely why Trump targeted DACA recipients in that manner. I wonder if he did it because he truly believed that they were lawbreakers as young children/toddlers because they came here illegally under the care of their parents. Or did he do it just to wipe away a vestige of President Obama’s time in office, which seems to have rankled Trump to no end.

I’m going to go with the latter rationale.

Indeed, many DACA recipients have carved out productive lives as U.S. residents. Many of them have achieved academic excellence and success in their chosen profession. They pay their taxes and they have become de facto citizens simply by virtue of their ability to live by the rules of the land to where they were brought.

DACA recipients don’t deserve a free ride. Nor do they deserve permanent amnesty. They should be allowed to seek legal resident status without fear of imminent deportation to the land of their birth, but a land with which they have zero familiarity.

That, I trust, is President-elect Biden’s goal by restoring DACA status to hundreds of thousands of U.S. residents.

SCOTUS scores a win for DACA recipients

It looks for all the world as if the U.S. Supreme Court has been smitten by a case of humanity along with a touch of compassion.

The court issued a ruling, albeit a narrow 5-4 decision, that upholds the Obama administration’s executive order protecting the residency status of hundreds of thousands of folks who came here illegally, many of whom as children brought to the United States by their parents.

President Obama issued the order called Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. It protected about 650,000 immigrants from deportation. Donald Trump rescinded that order. The high court, though, today said “not so fast.”

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four progressive justices in siding with DACA recipients, writing the opinion that said Trump’s order lacked sufficient legal foundation.

This a good deal. Many, if not most, DACA recipients have known no other country but the United States. Many of them are unfamiliar with their country of birth. They speak English. They attend school here. They work here. They pay U.S. taxes. They live as de facto Americans. Except that they aren’t citizens.

Donald Trump sought to ship them out, send them back to a country with which they have no understanding or familiarity. Politico reports: Roberts, who has emerged in recent years as a semi-regular swing justice on the court, wrote the majority opinion concluding that the decision to phase-out the program was unlawful because it did not consider all the options to rein in the program and failed to account for the interests of those who relied on it.

So the fight continues. It appears that the Trump administration will be unable to craft a new order in time for the November election.

My hope is that if Trump loses the election that the new president, Joe Biden, will scrap the effort to eliminate the DACA program and allow these once-young immigrants to continue to pursue their dream of living in the land of opportunity … provided, of course, that they seek to legalize their standing as U.S. residents.

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.

‘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.