Saturday, September 09, 2017

It's Time For the 'Dreamer's to Wake Up: The End of DACA?

DACA. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program which was put in place by then President Barack Obama as a temporary measure to deal with dependent children brought here by their parents or other relative illegally, and whom themselves were entering the country illegally. DACA has received a lot of attention lately after President Donald Trump stated that he would not renew the stopgap measure. Numerous groups, including membership and dues strapped unions, to various single topic special interest groups such as VoteVets as well as dozens of pro-illegal immigration and Hispanic groups.

At the time of its creation in June 2012, DACA permitted individuals who were brought illegally to America as a minor with a two year reprieve from deportation along with eligibility to apply for a work permit. The result was that approximately 800,000 individuals, known as "Dreamers" after the Dream Act Bill of 2001, out of an estimated 11 million illegal aliens became eligible for the program. In addition, this permitted a path for individuals under DACA to take steps to become legal citizens of the United States. Meanwhile, the Dream Act, under which DACA was created, allowed individuals temporary and conditional residency leading to possible permanent residency status. To be eligible for conditional residency, individuals must not have entered the country on a non-immigration visa; show proof that they were 16 years of age or younger; provide proof that they've been in the country a minimum of five years and be between 12 years and 35 years of age at the time the Act was implemented; have graduated from an American high school or possess a GED Certificate; be of "good moral character" and pass a criminal background check.

Those seeking permanent residency needed all the above plus attended a college, university, or two year (minimum) technical school or served at least two years in the US military and received an honorable discharge. Lastly, they must pass a more detailed criminal background check with no felony arrests. If the conditions were not met, then the individual was subject to a possible deportation. To help with the academic side, many colleges and universities dropped state residency requirements. All individuals applying would be afforded instate tuition. President Trump's refusal to renew DACA kicked the issue of illegal residency of so-called "Dreamers" back to Congress with instructions to creation legislation to more clearly deal with the topic of illegal immigration, especially as it pertains to those who were put in this position of possible deportation by the parents or other relative.

Of late there has been a great deal of teeth gnashing and finger pointing at the Trump Administration, and at Trump in particular, but is it justified? Many have and are arguing that it's "not fair" to deport individuals to countries which may be places of their birth, but of which they have little or no memory. These individuals call America home, and have for years if not decades. Many see themselves as Americans in every sense of the word. Should they be held responsible for the crime committed by their parents or other relative? What, if any, responsibility lays with Congress for its decades of failure in dealing with the issue of illegal immigration? Certainly, one could justifiably argue that these protests are aimed at them just as much as the President.

First, I think we have to understand a key fact that is unalterable. The law, regardless of the issue at hand, is not fair. It doesn't care what your race, ethnic group, religion, or sexual orientation or gender is. It is immune to emotional outbursts no matter how many tears are shed. The law also isn't interested in providing justice. The law is interested in facts only, and it renders its decision based on those facts. If "justice" is served, then that's just a happy coincidence. Lawyers and judges debate the nuances of the facts as they see them and how they apply to a given law. Legislatures, such as Congress, create bills to address certain issues in a generic and broad based language in order to include as many scenarios as possible while leaving room for possible interpretation by state legislatures, local councils or assemblies, and by the courts.

In this case, we have adults who, for a variety of reasons, make a conscious decision to break international sovereignty law as well as US federal law by entering the United States illegally rather than doing so legally, such as applying for a "Green Card" in order to live and work here. In addition to their decision to break the law, they brought along their young children, which is understandable. Nobody wants to leave their children behind if at all possible. That's just human nature. Yet, it was their decision to commit a crime that put the stability of their family at risk. So, when various groups scream and shout about "breaking up" or "destroying" families, remind them that it was the decision of the parents that made this a reality. No one but them is ultimately responsible for the outcome (some love to hold up signs which read "No Human is Illegal", which is true. However, their actions are, which includes violating immigration laws). Although it has no bearing on this particular situation, other nations, especially south of the border, have much m stricter laws dealing with their illegal immigrants. For instance, first offenders head off to prison (our prisons look like Sunday School by comparison) and face a stiff fine. Anyone caught aiding an illegal immigrant is punished with jail time and a hefty fine.
Secondly, President Obama was very clear that DACA was a temporary measure. Why then, did these "Dreamers" wait or simply fail to take the proper steps to legalize their immigration status?

With the election of a conservative President and the GOP taking both houses of Congress, did these "Dreamers" simply assume the issue of illegal immigration would go away? Were they counting on Hillary winning the election and, again, assuming that she would automatically renew DACA? I wish I knew the answer to these questions. I really do because now they are about to learn the price of their inaction, and no amount of "safe space" is going to help them (you know, there are times when I think we should start referring to the Millennials as the "Linus Generation" for his use of a security blanket). Then there's another possible catch to the issue here. I strongly suspect there will be a mad dash to get in line to update their immigration status. However (and I've not seen the form, so this is a guess based on other federal and states forms I've seen), there may be a requirement to list a next of kin. If they list their parents or other relative who is here illegally, that may cause a whole new set of problems once the form is reviewed (I don't know who, if anyone, from ICE will or can have access to these forms). Of course, all of this could have been avoided if these "Dreamers" took advantage of the extra time Obama granted them through DACA. For those who claim that DACA didn't provide a route to citizenship, they're mostly right, but then it wasn't supposed to. It was to meet much of the qualifications required for citizenship and extended the timeframe in which to being the process.

There you have it my friends. DACA was intended to be a short term "band-aid" to just deal with one aspect of the illegal immigration problem. Obama took further steps to circumvent our immigration laws by hindering ICE and the Border Patrol such as reducing their budget and restricting what could be done, while AG Eric Holder broke federal laws by illegally engaging in gunrunning (Operation Fast and Furious); selling weapons to drug cartels, which resulted in the deaths of US agents and citizens as well as Mexico citizens. President Trump, as hard as it is to believe right now, did the right thing by not renewing DACA and kicking it back in the lap of Congress with instructions to fix the problem like they were supposed to have done going all the back to President Reagan (Reagan signed another quick fix bill allowing illegal immigrants currently in the United States at the time amnesty). While it solved the immediate problem, it also encouraged others to come illegally in anticipation of another amnesty or that Washington, with the attention span of a two year old, gets distracted by another issue and the whole matter shifted to the back burner and just forgotten. If that's what they expected, they were seriously wrong.

Illegal immigration has been a serious problem for decades; costing taxpayers approximately $113 billion a year. Building a wall or strengthening existing emplacements will help, but only some. At best, it will only slow illegal crossings down some. Human ingenuity knows no bounds. Illegal immigration is first and foremost an economic issue. Mexico and other Latin American countries lack what we would consider a middle class. Because of social and religious constraints, these countries developed along the lines of an underclass, which was poor and a wealthy upper ruling class. Over the centuries, there have been numerous revolts and revolutions along class lines in Mexico and Latin America, but nearly each and every time, the rich ultimately win (usually through bribery, extortion, and good old fashion political coups and assassinations).

Most of these people come here seeking a better life (unlike the Europeans, very few do so for political or religious reasons). The problem, is that they are also not coming here to assimilate. They are not wanting to become Americans. They are here for the money; a large portion of which gets sent back home to support family and relatives. Therefore, they don't bother learning the language, traditions, or values (while liberal politicians and groups bend over backwards to accommodate their cultural arrogance). Many groups, especially the Catholic Church , AFL-CIO, the National Council of Churches, United Farm Workers, actively (and illegally) provide temporary housing, as well as help find permanent lodgings, jobs, and navigate the system to get taxpayer based services, healthcare, and school enrollment for their children (which has spawned another problem, namely taxpayers provided tutors and translators).

Therefore, since this is basically a "supply and demand" problem, we know that trying to eliminate supply is a hugely
difficult and expensive problem to stop, we should focus on demand and enforce existing laws. By that, I mean we should focus on those who house, employ, and aide illegal immigrants. Any group or religious organization which hides, shelters, or otherwise aids illegal immigrants should face loss of their tax exempt status for six months plus a thousand dollar fine per individual with their first conviction; one year and $2500 per person with their second convection along with 90 days jail time for the individual or individuals involved, and permanent loss of their tax exempt status after that plus $5000 per person with six months jail time for the person or persons involved. For companies which are not tax exempt, their business license should be suspended along the same lines.

In addition, any government contracts would be automatically suspended or revoked. Individuals should face the same fine and jail time---no exceptions. In addition, no tax payer services should be used without proof of citizenship. All documentation paid for by taxpayers should be in English only. If we eliminate the demand part of the equation, we will reduce or perhaps come close to eliminating the supply portion. However, we should encourage those who want to come here, to do it legally. We should make obtaining a work permit easier; extend its duration, assign a special work permit number whereby they can contribute to Social Security, obtain unemployment insurance, and so forth. We also need to make English mandatory and provide expanded free English classes for everyone who wants it (school age children will be taught in English only. Those who do not speak English, or speak it well, will be required to attend a English comprehension class. In terms of costs, illegal immigration costs taxpayers $52 billion dollars).

As for those "Dreamers" who blew their two year opportunity to legalize their status, they should be given the opportunity over the next 90 days to get their act together and get legal with Uncle Sam. To help streamline and expedite the matter, allow as much as possible to be done by mail or internet. Meanwhile, Congress needs to come up with solution ASAP, like within 90 days for instance; none of this moronic partisan BS, plus they've had decades to produce a solution. That means acting like big boys and girls and doing their jobs for a change. If they can't (or more likely, won't) do it, then Trump needs to "pull an Obama" and ram one of his own through by Executive Order.

Regardless, this whole situation is embarrassing. It's embarrassing in that for over 30 years a critical issue---illegal immigration--- hasn't been resolved. It's embarrassing in that these "Dreamers" didn't take advantage of the opportunity afforded them and now they are panicking while trying to blame anyone else but themselves. It's embarrassing to see just how broken the political situation in this country is as each side blames the other. But then since we are an Oligarchy nowadays masquerading as an illusionary Constitutional Republic, I have no choice but to conclude that regardless of how incompetent Washington looks, "someone" is making bunches of money off these individuals. If they, that is the ruling Oligarchy, were opposed to illegal immigration for whatever reason, but can bet your last nickel that Congress would have acted a long time ago.

The Dream Act

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

The Fiscal Burden of Illegal immigration on United States Taxpayers

5 facts about illegal immigration in the U.S.

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