The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018


There are relatively few Americans who would like to see the children of illegal immigrants, the so-called "Dreamers," deported from the United States. They came here with their parents, have established lives, and in the main, are contributing to our society and culture. But like most things in Washington, the Dreamers have become a political football.

The editors of the Washington Examiner provide some background:
“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” was the name of Obama’s executive action, which clearly invokes selective enforcement. Immigration law experts called it “administrative relief from deportation.”

It’s a reasonable application of selective enforcement. These people generally didn’t break immigration law of their own volition, and immigrants are eligible only if they haven’t committed felonies. But as an executive action, DACA didn’t legalize these immigrants. It merely put off their deportation.

Donald Trump did exactly the right thing when he rescinded an executive order that enabled the DACA policy. He demanded that Congress pass legislation that would codify the standing of Dreamers and provided ample time for that to be done. Of course, posturing and hypocrisy ensued and time is now running out.

The status of DACA and the Dreamers should be considered as part of a larger effort to reform our immigration system. DACA should be part of legislation that reforms chain immigration, a patchwork of nonsensical preferences and lotteries, and of course, border protection. "The Wall" has become of lightning rod for both Democrats and the President. As a consequence, the Dems have tried to divorce DACA from immigration negotiations and instead, include it as part of the budget negotiations. This is an obvious attempt to leverage their threat of a government shutdown and force the GOP to approve DACA without any other immigration reforms. The GOP wants to force the Dems to consider a package of immigration reforms along with DACA, anathema for the Democrats.

The Washington Examiner comments:
Immigration policy always spurs a debate. It's a complex matter, but also there’s so much emotion on both sides. But the current debate suffers from an unfortunate malady. One side seems not actually to want the policy it claims it wants; it instead simply wants the fight.

Democrats, while gnashing their teeth about the fate of “Dreamers,” illegal immigrants who arrived as children, behave as though they don't actually want to keep these immigrants in the country. Instead, they want to keep the Dreamer issue alive for political gain in 2018 and 2020.
It's pretty obvious that both sides want to solve the DACA issue, but one side refuses to address much-needed immigration reforms and wants to maintain the status quo—a system that is badly broken.

We'll see where negotiations lead.