Playing hardball with Congress, 71-year-old President Donald Trump asked Congress for new restriction on green-cards, money for his border wall and restrictions on unaccompanied minors entering the U.S. to extend former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [DACA] program. Trump announced Sept. 5 that he was ending Obama’s June 15, 2012 DACA executive order, allowing the so-called “dreamers’ or children of illegal aliens, to stay-and-work in the country indefinitely. When Obama called the program “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”, he surely knew that the dreamers’ “deferral” would end. Ending DACA Sept. 5, Trump wants a quid pro quo from Congress, giving him his border wall in exchange for the DACA exception. Asking for the border wall and an overhaul of the nations badly abused green-card program seems reasonable.
DACA bypassed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE], granting extended stay and work status to otherwise illegal aliens. Trump asked Congress for “a bottom-up review of all immigration policies” for the purpose “to determine what legislative reforms are essential for America’s economic and national security.” Elected officials supporting DACA don’t want to give Trump any concessions, especially with young people working or getting education in the U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called Trump’s demands heartless and excessive. “These finding outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [DACA] recipients,” wrote Trump. Trump wants an end to “deferred” action, seeking immigration reforms to keep the DACA program going.
Rep. Micheller Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), Chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, called Trump’s proposals un-American. “It is immoral for the President to use the lives of these young people as bargaining chips in his quest to impose his cruel, anti-immigrant and un-American agenda on our nation,” said Grisham, totally ignoring the breach in DACA of current U.S. immigration laws. Grisham doesn’t want to deal with Obama’s original plan to keep the program as “deferred” action for childhood arrivals. Obama never intended fro the program to be permanent, requiring Congress to remedy the breach of U.S. immigration laws. Now that Trump calls for Congress to fix Obama’s DACA program, the Latino community screams racism. Pointing fingers at Trump, Grisham won’t admit that Obama never intended the DACA program to be permanent.
Schumer and Pelosi said Trump made no attempt “to represent any attempt at compromise,” blasting the president for taking a heartless approach to the difficult challenge posed by children of illegal immigrants. “The administration can’t be serious about compromise or help the Dreamers if they bring a list that is anathema to the Dreamers to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans,” said Schumer and Pelosi, rejecting Trump’s proposal out-of-hand. When you consider how the “deferred” action plan was never intended to be permanent, Schumer and Pelosi can’t be serious. Everything with Trump is a negotiation, regardless of all the demands. Trump knows he won’t get all his demands, certainly not the one to fund his border wall, giving today’s budget constraints. Rejecting Trump’s overture, Schumer and Pelosi risk Trump’s unilateral action.
Trump takes a less DACA-friendly position than most of Republicans of Capitol Hill, seeking flexibility to encourage more Latino participation in the Republican Party. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) takes a more inclusive approach to DACA than Trump, keeping the door open for a path to citizenship. Trump knows more than most the contributions made by illegal aliens to the U.S. economy, performing many valuable jobs required in major industries like the restaurant and hotel business, residential-and-commercial construction and farm labor. Many of the 1.1 million DACA recipients work and pay taxes, adding to the U.S. economy. Deporting DACA recipients would harm the U.S. economy, shrinking the tax base. Apart from losing valuable jobs, deporting DACA recipients would hurt U.S. Gross Domestic Product. Paying out social welfare benefits to illegal aliens happens more often than not.
Members of Congress must play ball with Trump, using his proposals as a starting point to keeping DACA recipients’ legal immigration status. Tossing out DACA would harm the U.S. economy, singling out one group to the exclusion of all others. “The list includes the wall, which was explicitly ruled out of the negotiations. If the President was serious about protecting the Dreamers, his stuff has not made a good faith effort to do so,” said Schumer and Pelosi. Both lawmakers need to negotiate with Trump in good faith, knowing the president expects to get something for continuing DACA. If Obama intended the program to be permanent, he would have not called the program “deferred” action. Obama knew at some point he’d have to face Congress to deal with illegal immigration, including allowing children of illegal aliens to work-and-study in the U.S. for the indefinite future.