DACA. Four letters that seems to rile the masses on both sides of the issue. Passion overflows from supporters of DACA legislation providing a path to citizenship for dreamers and anger flows from those against any form or path to citizenship for them.
Note: Congress and the White House have reached a deal to negotiate DACA, border security, changes to family based migration(chain migration) and an end to the visa lottery system. For more click here
So, how do we get to a real and fair solution to this issue. An issue that affects real live humans. People who are being used as political hostages by Congress. Their fates are being battered back and forth across the aisle while they wait in limbo.
How? By viewing these people as….People. People who contribute to our economy. People who live out their lives just as we do. Click here for more.
But first. To get a good understanding of this issue lets first define DACA.
DACA stands for “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.” In 2012 President Obama created DACA through an executive order as part of a spinoff of the Dream Act that was drafted in 2001, but never passed. DACA beneficiaries are referred to as Dreamers.
Following is directly from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services page on DACA. Here is a link to the page: https://www.uscis.gov/archive/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca#guidelines
You may request DACA if you:
1 Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
2 Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
3 Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
4 Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
5 Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
6 Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
7 Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
As you can see there are many requirements; high school graduate or equivalent certification, NO FELONIES, continuously resided in the US, etc.
There are age requirements. When enacted the person had to under 26 years of age as of June 15, 2007. Under 26 years old AND having been brought here before their sixteenth (16th) birthday. Many were infants when brought here and know no other country or culture. Many don’t know any other language other than English.
Now that we have a definition and an understanding of what DACA is we can go on to some of the issues surrounding DACA.
Trump removed the privacy protections put in place by the Obama administration for DACA recipients in January of 2017 enabling ICE to see their information.
In June of 2017 10 Republican state officials threatened to file a federal lawsuit over DACA’s constitutionality if Trump didn’t end it.
In September of 2017 Trump desires not to renew DACA effectively ending it as it currently exists. Trump’s decision finally puts this where it has always belonged, in the hands of Congress.
This should have never been White House legislation. Congress and their lack of effective leadership has been failing to do their job for the last 20 years and only getting worse in the last 10 years to the point of being criminal, but that is a discussion for another time.
There are now only two options now, either congress passes a law by March 5th, 2018 or they don’t.
If no new legislation is passed then the stipulations outlined by AG Sessions will become law.
Those who have already applied to DACA will have their applications processed. As for those currently covered, two things could happen. If their DACA documentation is set to expire before March 5, 2018 (the deadline for Congress to pass an immigration reform bill), they can apply for one last renewal until October 5th, 2017. If their DACA documentation expires on or after March 6th, 2018, they’ll become illegal aliens once again. At the time of writing this that would be in about three weeks.
Three weeks until their lives would be thrown into turmoil. Three weeks until the only life many of them have known would end.
These are real live flesh and blood people we are talking about. We’re not just dealing with numbers on a page or facts and figures or…gasp…those kind of people. These are real live human beings that live, work, start businesses, join the military and help defend our nation, go to school, and do all the other normal everyday things that the rest of America does. These are people. Just people.
And that’s what we have gotten wrong. Most of these people have grown up in the USA. This is the only country they know and care about.
But the crazy thing about this issue is the fact that the majority of citizens support legislation protecting the Dreamers from deportation. A majority of both democrats and republicans. Even two thirds of self identifying Trump supporters think Dreamers should stay.
This is a non-partisan issue. So why can’t we come up with a solution? Why does Congress have to wait until the last minute to settle their differences? These are people’s life’s they are messing with and they should be ashamed of themselves.
But they’re not.
Providing a path to citizenship is the right answer and the moral thing to do for the Dreamers. By March 5, 2018 they shouldn’t be dreamers anymore.
Leviticus 19:33-34 “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
This verse is cited often when talking about foreigners, but the one I cite is from the New Testament.
Matthew 22:34-40 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Love your neighbor as yourself. How much simpler can it get?
Just my humble opinion.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.