All around the world, as well as specifically in the TCU community, word has gotten out about President Donald Trump and his decision over the Rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that President Obama put into place by executive action in 2012.
DACA was put into place by former President Obama to help those children who were brought to the United States illegally and underage. The reasoning behind the action was that these children had no choice in whether their parents brought them to this country or not. Included in this law is the benefit of work authorization. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time.” And approximately 800,000 people between the ages 15 and 36 were granted work permits, social security numbers, and other federal benefits.
Opinions all across the spectrum have been thrown into the mix. The President has been loudly criticized for this decision, but does anyone know the true reasoning behind it? Let me explain.
Two years after President Obama signed an executive order to enforce DACA, he also signed forward DAPA. Deferred Action for Parents of Americans. While some, if not most American citizens can agree with the reasoning behind DACA, that the children had no choice and should not be punished for their parents’ choices, a lot more American’s could not get on board with granting all these same benefits to parents. Which would altogether encompass over 5 million people. These are adults who knew the law and knew they were arriving to this country illegally. It didn’t take long for many states—over 26 including Texas—to sue the President claiming he was overstepping his constitutional authority as the executive branch.
The Supreme Court decision to this claim was tied at 4-4, putting a block on DAPA and DACA. A rehearing was denied. And the states are still fighting against it. There is little doubt among the legal community that the President’s Actions were unconstitutional. Which leads to the decision made by our current President Donald Trump. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s memorandum on the decision, the reason behind the rescission is more empathetic than the media and the Left lead us to believe.
There is still on-going litigation against both the DAPA and DACA and the district court of Texas held that the states in this case were likely to succeed in proving that these programs (especially DAPA), do not comply with the President’s constitutional authority therefore if a decision was pressed further the probability that these programs would survive is almost 1 million to 1.
If the decision for cutting off the program was left to the courts then it would stop almost immediately. Leaving the recipients worse off than if the program were to simply slow down. What President Trump’s decision did was announce that instead of cutting all benefits off immediately he is slowing down the process. For more specifics on what exactly “slow down” means you can visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on the DHS website. As well as still allowing applications and extensions on a case-by-case basis, the president announced that:
“Our enforcement priorities remain unchanged. We are focused on criminals, security threats, recent border-crossers, visa overstays, and repeat violators. I have advised the Department of Homeland Security that DACA recipients are not enforcement priorities unless they are criminals, are involved in criminal activity, or are members of a gang.”
The intention of the president is not to ruin the lives of those who have benefitted from this program but it is to fix what actually needs fixing. Granting temporary legal status to over 5 million people does not fix the major problems with our immigration system. What President Trump has done is promise to slow down an unconstitutional action and allow Congress to fix Immigration laws under the legislative authority. We shouldn’t be criticizing him because he is simply correcting an unconstitutional action from the previous administration and encouraging the appropriate constitutional authority to take action. He has done what former presidents have not done and that is put American’s first. As with any country, their job is to put their own citizens first.
Finally, President Trump states, “as I’ve said before, we will resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion – but through the lawful Democratic process – while at the same time ensuring that any immigration reform we adopt provides enduring benefits for the American citizens we were elected to serve. We must also have heart and compassion for unemployed, struggling, and forgotten Americans.”
Let us no longer put a Band-Aid over the bullet hole wound of immigration and instead stitch it up properly.