On Tuesday, Sept. 6, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump Administration would be phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program allowed illegal immigrant “children” to stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation. The administration is ending the program because several states have threatened to sue the federal government over the constitutionality of the program.
A similar program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) was already ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge and upheld by the Supreme Court. Most legal experts believed it was a given that DACA would be ruled the same way because the judge that ruled on DAPA would be the judge to rule on DACA.
It appears the Trump administration may have worked out a deal with the Attorneys General who were threatening to sue. Right after the announcement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that it was dropping its lawsuit against DACA. However, the states could easily bring the suit anytime they feel like it and therefore bringing an abrupt end to the program.
Instead, President Donald Trump used political capital to stop the suits and give Congress a chance to address the issue. On Twitter he stated, “Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!” Doesn’t sound like the heartless monster the media is making him out to be, does it?
Of course, the President must be careful when negotiating with Congress over DACA. Many Republicans and all Democrats have been pushing amnesty for some time now. For some reason, establishment Republicans believe in the accuracy of the 2012 autopsy report on the embarrassing election loss. The report argues Republicans must grant amnesty to win over the Hispanic vote.
They believe the report, despite the fact that in 2016 President Trump spit on the autopsy and did everything the report said not to do and still tore down the Blue Wall to win the election the Republican establishment couldn’t even make a dent in.
Make no mistake about it, the amnesty debate is not about compassion. The debate is not about families or the economy. If it was about families, why would the Obama administration institute a policy that encourages parents to hand their children over to human traffickers? Human traffickers are not known for their compassion. No, the debate was always about increasing the number of Democrat voters.
This was easily proven in the debate over the 2013 Gang of Eight Amnesty bill. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) attempted to introduce an amendment to the bill that would strip the citizenship language from the legislation. The illegal immigrants would still be granted legal status and allowed to work, but not citizenship, meaning they would not be able to vote. This was a non-starter for the Democrats and the combined force of Republican leadership and Democrats stopped the amendment from moving forward.
President Trump must understand one thing. First, the President must remember the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), also known as the Simpson–Mazzoli Act. The act granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship. The legislation was also supposed to secure the border and stem the further flow illegal immigration but failed in every regard. Sound familiar?
The swamp will try and sell the President on the same notion. Codify DACA into law now and the border wall and security will come later. The President must not allow this. The 1986 amnesty doomed California to the semi-communist state it is now.
The goal of the opposition is to do the same thing to Texas, Arizona, and Florida that they did to California, therefore, putting the Republican Party in the permanent minority. There is no path to a majority in the House, Senate, or the winning the Presidency if that happens. Just as a matter of survival of the two-party system depends on there being no path to citizenship.
Because the President has some leverage in this situation, he should demand a few things first. All of these actions must happen prior to DACA being codified into law. Not only must the actions be passed by Congress, they must also be funded long term to ensure there is no bait and switch. Trump must ensure three things happen to ensure his base is happy:
• President Trump should DEMAND the passage of Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act or the RAISE Act.
• The border wall must be funded.
• If citizenship is to be granted, the illegal immigrant must leave the country and go back to their home country and start the process the legal way, if they meet the new standards under the RAISE Act. If the illegal immigrant does not wish to do that, they may obtain legal status, but there can be no path to citizenship.
Vice President for Policy at Americans for Limited Government Robert Romano stated, “The first and only matters Congress should be dealing with at this stage are the Cotton-Perdue legislation ending chain migration and re-introducing a skills-based legal immigration system, building and finishing the southern border wall, shutting down sanctuary cities and providing additional resources for immigration enforcement on the border and in workplaces. The question of what to do with the tens of millions already here illegally cannot be considered at all when there have been zero attempts by Congress to provide adequate resources for immigration enforcement including the border wall. The first and only priority to fixing our broken system must be securing the border and ports of entry and putting America first and American workers first.”
Romano added, “There can be no path to citizenship for those who came here illegally and remain here. Any attempt in Congress to address this issue will most likely fail as has every other attempt at so-called comprehensive immigration reform.”
The President has leverage and he should use it — to get the RAISE Act passed and the border secured. The Democrats and a few Republicans are going to try and pass amnesty. The President has a stronger base than the Republicans on Capitol Hill and he should remind them of that. Trump should stay strong, call on his supporters to let Congress know what they should do, and get his agenda done.
Printus LeBlanc is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals debate is filled with landmines