Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 8:14 am | Overcast 59º


Joe Guzzardi: DACA Mires Donald Trump in Swamp, Elbow-Deep in Alligators

Here we go again. Congress is embroiled in a nasty immigration/amnesty war, the fight that, no matter how many times and in how many ways Americans have expressed their displeasure, never goes away.

This particular fight is, examined closely, exceptionally preposterous. Congressional Republicans and Democrats are at each other’s throats over the fate of 800,000 illegal immigrant DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients.

Millions of Americans who live below the poverty line, are uninsured or jobless can take a back seat for the next six months or longer while Congress haggles over what to do about 800,000 aliens.

Democrats want a stand-alone bill to grant the DACAs amnesty, and threaten to shut down the government if they don’t get it. According to the false narrative that supports granting DACAs employment authorization documents, Social Security numbers, permanent residency, eventual citizenship, and the ability to sponsor their family members who will get the same benefits, the “kids” came to the United States as children and should not be punished, and certainly not deported.

Republicans want — or claim to want — some type of border security mandates attached to DACA legislation. But only E-Verify, which can be passed quickly, should appease the GOP. Nonsense about future funding for a never-to-be-built wall shouldn’t cut it.

Immigration historians remember, painfully, that the security quid pro quo for President Ronald Reagan’s initiative, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, was amnesty in exchange for vigorous workplace enforcement. Amnesty came immediately; enforcement is still waiting 30 years later.

A few things readers need to know about pro-DACA arguments. DACAs hold or are competing for jobs with more than 5 million unemployed or under-employed Americans. They probably came to the United States the same way millions of other illegal immigrants have entered over the decades — they walked across the border. But a DACA condition is that they had to have done so before age 16.

DACAs’ median age is 26, and the San Francisco Chronicle reported that 25 percent of DACAs have children, automatically U.S. citizens granted the full entitlement package.

The news media have endlessly insisted that the DACAs are good, possibly even outstanding college-bound students. Some no doubt are. In any sampling of 800,000, stellar individuals will be identified. But the qualifying education component isn’t high school. Online courses, including English as a Second Language, or GED certificates are all an applicant needs.

Finally, no one in President Donald Trump’s administration is talking about deporting DACAs. At issue is whether they will be amnestied. If not, while technically removable, the chance that many would be deported is slim to none.

By not fulfilling his promise to end DACA on Day One, which Trump could have done within 15 seconds with a one-sentence memo directed to the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services, he allowed the immigration lobby time to organize, and mount their campaign. Now, the waffling Trump is deeply emerged in the swamp, up to his neck in alligators.

Six weeks before his election, Trump told his base that “You have 40 days to make every dream you ever dreamed for your country come true.”

Those dreams absolutely didn’t include, as what would be Trump’s first legislative accomplishment, an amnesty for 800,000 illegal immigrants.

— Joe Guzzardi is a senior writing fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) who now lives in Pittsburgh. He can be reached at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter: @joeguzzardi19. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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