Last week, a story was leaked by the Trump administration claiming that the president had made up his mind on whether or not to end President Obama’s executive order, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The purpose of Obama passing DACA as an executive order was to protect any illegal immigrant under the age of 31 (as of 2012) who was brought to the United States as a child. While the Obama administration would have liked to pass this legally through Congress, the 2010 midterm elections had left the House in Republican control. With no Republican support there was no chance of the bill passing, so Obama and his “pen and phone” unilaterally ordered the Department of Justice to stop prosecuting those who fall under DACA. Those applying for legal status under DACA must have also been in school, have obtained a high school diploma (or equivalent), or been honorably discharged from the military, and have no criminal record.
From a conservative perspective, this executive order is unconstitutional and just all around bad. The job of the president is NOT to create laws but to execute them as directed by the bills Congress passes. So from the beginning, conservatives of all stripes were opposed to this executive action and the expansion of presidential powers. DACA also sends a signal to any current or future illegal immigrants that now is the time to come to the US. DACA essentially created a magnet effect, drawing in more illegal immigration, which is not good for the U.S. and those trying to come here legally. This is evidenced by the mass waves of immigration from South and Central America a short time later.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration made the call to put a six-month expiration date on DACA. This means that Trump has removed himself from blame if DACA is either completely eliminated by Congress or if DACA is kept in an immigration bill. In the end, the blame will be mostly on Congress. The 800,000 people who have registered through the program know no other life, other than in America, and should not be deported back to their birthplaces. However, they should also not get full status as American Citizens. If you are brought by your parents here legally as a baby, you are not an American Citizen, unless after five years of residence your parents pass the US Naturalization Test and as a minor you receive derivative citizenship status.
Now don’t get me wrong, the people who qualify for this program are most likely good people. However, why do they get the right to cut the line over people who have fought for years to get here? In order for my family to come to the United States in the late 1800s, they had to travel by foot, get examined in their port of departure, reexamined in the U.S., and pass certain tests. These tests ranged from medical to academic to examination of economic status. Thousands were rejected for various reasons and had to suffer the consequences. Although the requirements have changed from then to now, illegal immigration is simply not fair to those who do whatever they can to legally pass the modern requirements.
It’s time for a new immigration policy, one which includes tests similar to those back in the 1800s. Trump has the rare opportunity to enforce immigration and end the debate entirely with the passage of a new law. So personally, I would use DACA as a bargaining chip and go down as the president who fixed immigration once and for all. Until next time, trust what I say, but feel free to verify it for yourself and discover the story of immigration.