A Stroke of Genius- Trump Sends DACA Back to Congress
DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was pronounced policy by Barack Obama on June 15, 2012. Measures aimed at providing a pathway to citizenship for so-called “dreamers,” essentially children of illegal immigrants brought into this country by their parents, went back as early as 2007, but never gained traction in the Senate. Without legal passage by the legislature, it was Obama who ordered this deferred action for dreamers via executive order- something not allowed by the United States Constitution.
Facing the certainty of bipartisan backlash were he to outright reverse Obama’s executive order, President Donald Trump instead sent the entire issue of dealing with both “dreamers” and illegal immigration back to the Congress while implementing an immediate halt to the program for a period of six months. Essentially, Trump put an immediate stop to the expansion of the program- freezing the status quo ante, and put Congress on notice they have six months to address the issue before Obama’s DACA is cancelled, outright.
In a word, brilliance.
Let’s face it. The reason why we have arrived at this point is because the Congress has lacked the intestinal fortitude to deal with illegal immigration for the last three decades. Oh sure, there is much talk about immigration reform, and the need to secure our borders- particularly our southern border, but it has only been that- a lot of talk put forth in the interest of securing enough votes to be reelected and then quickly and conveniently forgotten, whenever the issue actually comes up. Both parties share equal responsibility in the problems we have with illegal immigration today.
Democrats, ever seeking to expand their own voter base, would love nothing more than wholesale immigration, legal and otherwise, and then pursue the subsequent enfranchisement of their right to vote. Their idea of immigration reform is essentially to grant citizenship to everyone already here, secure in the belief that the resulting electorate would guarantee Democrats perpetual control of all three branches of government.
Republicans, never ones to let principle to stand in the way of political patronage, intentionally soft-step immigration reform because much of their financial support comes from corporations and other private interests who benefit from having a low-cost, alternative supply of labor extensively provided by illegal immigration. Better to serve the needs of self-interests, than to risk being labeled a “heartless bigot who would round up innocents and send them back where they came from.”
While blowhards in both parties voiced outrage at the anticipated cancellation of DACA by the president, and bolstered by an entire mainstream media united in message that Trump’s actions would be “callous and inhumane to innocent children who were brought here against their will,” it was Trump who fashioned a way to put the ball back into the court of the naysayers, saying essentially, “if you care about these “dreamers” so much, you deal with it…”
Given the inability of Republicans to get together on anything other than voicing selective outrage at their president’s latest tweets, their leadership- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), has also been put on notice that the President is willing to work with Democrats if that is what it takes to get action on a host of things, including immigration, tax reform and infrastructure.
Unlike his immediate predecessors, Barack Obama and George W. Bush, it is noteworthy that President Trump is neither an ideologue (Obama) nor an insider (Bush). Rather, he is by his own admission, a deal-maker, committed to achieving his agenda regardless of how, or with whom, he gets it done.
That’s not good news for establishment Republicans, who insist on doing things their own way, which is essentially not doing anything at all. It’s also bad news for Democrats, who sound shrill in their attacks on a president who nevertheless reaches out to them in a way no presidents have done in the last thirty years.
Once again, Donald Trump is proving the “experts” wrong, by achieving what was said to be impossible- but, then again, he has been doing that very thing, for most of his adult life.
-Drew Nickell, 14 September 2017
© 2017 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.
author of “Bending Your Ear- a Collection of Essays on the Issues of Our Times”
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