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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

The DACA Conundrum

  • Well, here we go again. Another fight between conservatives and liberals, another impossible mess that Obama left for Trump and Reublicans( confused , disorganized and splintered as usual). So, the “Congressional Follies” will proceed as promised. A quite complete overview of the mayhem to come was provided by The Washington Examiner in its OP ED section on September 22, 2017:

Build a Wall Around DACA
Washington Examiner
September 22, 2017
President Trump will soon learn what it means to cut a deal with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Democrats will not be satisfied with amnesty for the 800,000 immigrants who entered illegally as children. They will push to expand amnesty, bit by bit, to cover nearly all 11 million illegal immigrants in America. Trump will find that his deal to codify DACA won’t earn him lasting love from Democrats and immigration activists, but merely spur demands that he go further, and stoke outraged attacks if he doesn’t.

DACA carries the seeds of its own expansion.

To prevent this, Trump and congressional Republicans should hold fast and make sure the bill is coupled not only with tougher immigration enforcement but also with root and branch reform of policies on green cards and visas.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has co-sponsored the RAISE Act with Georgia Republican Sen. David Perdue. Cotton and Perdue are right that the current green-card policy must go, especially after DACA. This is because siblings and parents of residents and citizens are allowed to immigrate and gain permanent residence in America. This “chain migration” means that those siblings can then bring in their children and children’s wives, who can bring in more siblings, and so on and on.

By legalizing nearly a million new permanent residents, DACA could set off a massive chain reaction.

“If we don’t change underlying laws about chain migration, which account for almost two-thirds of all green cards this country gives out every year,” Cotton warned in a recent interview with the Washington Examiner, that DACA “could be the largest amnesty in the history of the United States.”

“In fact,” Cotton added, “the very first people that would be eligible are the parents of the DACA recipients, which is to say the very people who broke the law by bringing their kids here.”

Cotton’s bill would severely limit family reunification green cards, so adults don’t bring in their siblings, and adults are not automatically allowed to bring in parents. This would limit the ripple effect of DACA.

The RAISE Act, by moving toward a skills-based immigration system, would address the legal issue. Then, there’s the moral hazard issue, which is that codifying DACA would induce many Central and South American parents to send or bring their parents illegally into the U.S. in the hope of a later round of amnesty.

This isn’t imaginary. “There’s a reason why we had a surge of kids at the border two years after President Obama created the DACA program and after the first round of renewal,” Cotton aptly pointed out.

“If you’ve got kids, put yourself in the position of a mom or dad in El Salvador, the most dangerous place in the world, the home of MS-13,” Cotton said. “If the U.S. gives legal status to 20- and 30-somethings who came here as children, what price would you pay to get your child here now?”

If DACA doesn’t come with real border enforcement, this humanitarian crisis is nearly guaranteed.

Finally, there’s the political reason DACA would expand. Who actually believes Democrats want to stop at legalizing and naturalizing the 800,000 who entered as children. That’s merely Step One.

Immigration activists admitted as much in a demonstration this week where they chanted at Nancy Pelosi “All of us or none of us!” demanding amnesty for all illegal immigrants. It would fit the pattern if Democrats one at a time added new classes to amnesty. Seniors first, then people who have been here more than 20 years next, then pregnant women, and those who entered when younger than 25 years old, and so on.

We have little objection to DACA itself, but a country in which every illegal entrant is declared a legal entrant is one that has given up its sovereignty. Or, as Trump put it during the election, a country that has no border ceases to be a country. DACA threatens to spread. Congress, as part of any deal with Schumer and Pelosi, needs to build a wall around it.

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