A recent reversal of the full restart of amnesty on the deportation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is causing four-alarm heartburn for illegal immigrants and activists alike.
U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates decided in April that rescinding DACA “was unlawful and must be set aside.” But his latest decision contradicts that earlier judgement, giving the Trump administration a small victory in the ongoing DACA drama.
To recap, Trump, under pressure from legal threats from Republican attorneys general and governors, began a “wind down” of the Obama-era program in 2017. He explained that the Executive Branch did not have “unilateral power to confer lawful presence and work authorization on unlawfully present aliens simply because the Executive chooses not to remove them.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is one of the elected officials filing suit against the U.S. government:
“DACA is unconstitutional because it rewrote federal law over the objections of Congress. DACA represents a dangerous view of executive power, which would allow the president to unilaterally set aside any duly enacted law. It cannot be allowed to stand without doing serious harm to our Constitution.”
Remember, former President Barack Obama was the poster child of executive overreach, claiming he could do what he pleased because he had a “phone and a pen.” The law be damned.
Before corks popped on the bubbly in celebration of slaying another ridiculous Obama policy, the Judicial Branch horned in and ruled that the Department of Homeland Security’s argument for ending the program was “arbitrary and capricious.”
Proving that the 9th Circuit Court Justice is blind and deaf, but unfortunately not dumb.
But wait, there’s more.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service finally weighed in with a dire prediction that given a full restart of the DACA program, it would hinder processing of legal immigrants and backlog the system.
And that was not “arbitrary or capricious,” as Judge John D. Bates came to his senses with his most recent ruling that the government does not have to accept new applications after all.
Of course, Dreamers are panicking in light of Judge Bate’s decision, as they have a plethora of freedoms to lose. Their temporary legal status allows them to obtain a driver’s license, pursue higher education, attain a modicum of financial security, and perhaps generate economic activity in their communities.
And being smuggled across the border as a child and labeled an illegal alien is not their fault. But as children who grew up in this country, learned English as a first language, and attended public schools, they absolutely know better as adults and need to either become citizens or go home. This temporary in-limbo status does nothing for their chosen home country, as they proudly proclaim, while waving the flag of another nation. They can’t have it both ways.
But they are willing to go to the mat for their cause. Nina Perales, an attorney with Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, submitted her argument in part:
“There is no great harm or any identifiable injury from their continued presence in doing what they’re doing. And for that reason the balance of the equities in the public interest tip heavily toward maintaining the status quo.”
Her argument is fatally flawed; it goes back to executive overreach being interpreted as law – which needs to cease.
Most Americans have empathy for Dreamers – but balk at the behavior exhibited repeatedly as immigration laws are being enforced. There is a path to citizenship. For Dreamers who have adapted to American life, are people of good character, obey laws, and contribute to their communities, no one stands in their way to becoming a citizen.
But Dreamers must prove their loyalty and patriotism to their adopted country if they desire to stay. Above all, become the American that is held at the highest of standards.
And until that demonstration of love of country is witnessed by all, this administration is obligated to keep the pressure on enforcing the immigrations laws and Congress must do its job of ending the DACA drama. No more passing the buck for selfish reasons. Do your job or step down.