Justice, Mercy, DACA, and Dishonest Democrats

Trump brings out-of-the-box thinking to the intractable DACA problem.

Just when we were wondering whether the Never-Trumpers were right and our President was going to abandon the campaign promises that gained him his office:

The Department of Homeland Security will stop processing any new applications for the program as of Tuesday and rescinded the Obama administration policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

"I am here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday at the Justice Department.

The massed chorus of the mass media bemoaned and bewailed this, to them, horrible event.  Their end-of-the-world bleating had little effect, as their accusations of racism and bigotry are so threadbare from overuse that even the lowest-information voter can see right through them.

In reality, Donald Trump has scored a hole-in-one: he is demonstrating both justice and mercy in a Constitutional and practical way.

What Rule of Law?

First, let's listen to the world's most famous Constitutional-law lecturer explain why Mr. Obama's DACA program is unconstitutional: none other than President Barack Hussein Obama himself, as reported in the New York Times:

The problem is, is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed...

The easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws.

As the Times put it:

For years, he has waved aside the demands of Latino activists and Democratic allies who begged him to act on his own, and he insisted publicly that a decision to shield millions of immigrants from deportation without an act of Congress would amount to nothing less than the dictates of a king, not a president.

Then, in a flip-flop so massive that even the left found it a little bit jarring, Mr. Obama suddenly took it upon himself to wave his pen in the air and make our immgration laws vanish for 800,000 illegal aliens.  The conflict with the Constitution was so stark that, to our shocked amazement and for just about the only time in the Obama administration, "Saturday Night Live" poked effective and hostile fun at his arrogance.

Article Two of our Constitution commands that The President must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed"; by creating DACA in the face of decades-old laws to the contrary, President Obama instead showed contempt not only for our laws but for the oath he'd taken to uphold them.  In announcing that this lawless policy is ending, President Trump is returning us to obedience to the system our Founders designed and for which we vote.

Mercy Tempers Justice

So why hasn't ICE already rounded up and shipped out all 800,000 illegals who wrongfully benefited from Obama's unconstitutional actions?

Unfortunate as it is, it's true that the illegal immigrants who have been hiding behind DACA have mostly been in the United States for many years if not decades.  Sometimes it's necessary to grab someone off the street and turf them out forthwith.  Mostly, though, Americans would prefer to enforce our laws with not quite so heavy a hand.

That's exactly what President Trump is offering: he has announced that DACA is ending, but that he will not resume enforcing the laws for a few months yet.  This generously gives the affected illegals some time to set their affairs in order - to arrange for a place to live in their home country and perhaps even a job, using the educational credentials they have gained in America at taxpayer expense.  That should be gift enough for any reasonable person.

There may be some who are able to make use of some other section of our laws, by marrying an American and gaining citizenship that way, say, or by successfully placing a claim for asylum.  We have laws and courts for this, and they have six months to make use of them.  While our laws must be enforced, it's far better to do so reasonably, in an orderly and methodical fashion, and not by an overnight panic.

And where are these laws supposed to come from?  Once again, Donald Trump understands what Mr. Obama ignored:

Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can't, I will revisit this issue!

What Mr. Trump is saying, is - it is the job of Congress to change the law.  As President, Trump can wield the bully pulpit and make adjustments around the margins via executive orders, but if it is the desire of the American people to allow juvenile illegal immigrants to stay contrary to existing law, then that must be made clear by a vote of the people's representatives in Congress altering the law as required.

Certainly, both parties have tried to pass laws legalizing all manner of illegal aliens; only by the overpowering revulsion of the voters were these amnesty attempts defeated.  What's worse, the Wall Street Journal reports that Mr. Obama, both as US Senator and President, sabotaged all attempts to reach any compromise on immigration.

For all his big talk about how much he’s wanted an immigration bill, whenever he’s had the opportunity to back one, he’s either declined or actively worked to scuttle it.

With DACA, President Obama tried to do an end-run around the legislative process and the voters; Mr. Trump has quite properly dumped the entire mess in the laps of Congress, to fix through legislation at the potential cost of their seats, or to leave the law as it is for him to fully enforce.  A six-month delay in enforcement may not be ideal, but it's tolerable, and gives Congress a deadline that may focus their minds, and those of their constituents who support or oppose the move.

A Better Way?

So Donald Trump has chosen the best imaginable outcome for the DACA travesty?  Not exactly.

As firm believers in the rule of law, we recognize that it is wrong for people to benefit from a crime.  However, by definition children can't commit a crime worthy of punishment; for every 17-year-old "child" illegal immigrant gang member, there's an infant who was smuggled across the border in a suitcase and is entirely innocent in the moral sense.  While they may have no right to be here, it does seem harsh to expel them from the only home they've ever known.

That's why another plan might have been better, as proposed by some on both sides of the aisle: to grant DACA recipients a permanent residency that forever bars them from citizenship.  They can personally live out their lives in the United States, secure from any fears of deportation, but without the unearned reward of heritable citizenship and the chain-migration it allows.

Most Americans aside from publicity-seeking activists could probably live with this solution.  It answers the only legitimate point the pro-amnesty side has, that of practical moral concerns of deporting someone to a third-world hellhole who knows nobody and can't even remember ever being there.  And it addresses at least some of the concerns of the pro-enforcement side, but sharply limiting the ill-gotten gains and, perhaps, reducing the incentives for future illegal immigrants.

But this wasn't an option Mr. Trump even mentioned as a possibility, and for a very good and shameful reason: decades of shameful experience prove that Democrats will violate the terms of the compromise the first chance they get.

If Not for Amply-Demonstrated Perfidy

There's an old saying: "Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me."  The Democrats are globalists who have fought both overtly and covertly for open borders for sixty years.  For that entire time, they have lied about their hoped-for results and cheated on every single agreement  they ever made.

For the middle of the 20th century, immigration to America was heavily restricted; it's no coincidence that this was the same time period when our middle class had the greatest share of national income.  This all changed in 1965, when Senator Ted Kennedy pushed a complete overhaul of immigration law that led to the Third World influx we've suffered ever since.

At the time, many Americans were concerned about exactly what did in fact happen.  In defending the merits of his bill, Senator Kennedy specifically lied: he promised there would be no great flood of immigrants, no changes in the ethnic or cultural mix of this country, pretty much no visible effect at all.  Today, of course, the left gleefully celebrates the coming day when minorities are in the majority as a direct result of Kennedy's bill.

Of course, nothing restricts being American to any particular race.  The problem is that the massive modern influx of immigrants has been far slower to take up our culture, our language, and our political culture than previous such waves.  It's commonplace to refer to "two Americas" today; this did not exist prior to the change in immigration laws - because immigrants, their children, and even their grandchildren vote overwhelmingly for Democrats.

Then in the 1980s, President Reagan struck the first amnesty deal, granting citizenship to long-term illegals in exchange for strict enforcement of immigration laws going forward.  Firstly, the citizenship was granted to any applicant regardless of blatant forgeries or other crimes, pushed forward by sleeper Democrats buried throughout our ranks of Federal employees - yes, even back then, the government employees considered it their duty to kneecap and undercut a Republican president and any conservative policies he might attempt to propose.  And, elected and government-employed Democrats conspired to prevent the promised enforcement from ever taking place, ensuring countless tens of millions more invading illegals for years to come.

There is a reason why Trump supporters want The Wall to be built, even though there are probably more cost-effective ways to control illegal immigration: a big, solid, expensive fortification would be difficult for a future Democrat president to physically destroy.

Rubber-stamping residency papers and voting papers, on the other hand, is trivially easy - Democrats have done that for years, even for dead people.  It's become almost standard procedure for naturalizations to be fast-tracked in the runup to an election, as Democrats try to create the votes they can't persuade American citizens to give them.

If the childhood illegal immigrants are physically deported, they won't be here anymore; they'll be somewhere else out of reach.  If, instead, they are granted some special legal status with permanent restrictions - well, nothing makes those restrictions permanent other than the willingness of our government to stick to the agreement.  We all know that won't last one day longer than the next inauguration of a Democrat president.

So even in this, Donald Trump is approaching our illegal immigration problem with realism and prudence.  Now is the time to physically get rid of those who don't belong here and whom we don't want.

And if there are any illegal immigrants that American citizens think should be allowed to stay, then that is a job for the people's representatives in Congress to establish, by duly passing a law clearly laid out in black and white.  No unconstitutional executive orders to kick the can down the road!

As a business executive, Mr. Trump is skilled in making decisions that stay made.  You don't get to be a billionaire by avoiding problems or doing things merely for show.  The Democrats recently trumpeted that they'd struck a deal with him to legalize DACA and not build the wall... only to be immediately repudiated by a Presidential tweet denying the existence of such a deal.  So at least Donald Trump knows exactly who he's dealing with and how far he can trust them.

Once again, we see just how profoundly different from a career politician is our president.  It may be disturbing at times, but on the whole, we're better off for the difference.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Immigration.
Reader Comments

I reptilian-brain/knee-jerked at: .... (a better plan) might have been to have granted DACA recipients a permanent residency that forever bars their becoming Americans. Every one may live out his life in America, secure from fear of deportation but without the unearned reward of heritable citizenship and the chain-migration it allows ....

But -- I'm relieved to see -- you followed up on yourself. Trust a "democrat" to keep his word? That'll be a cold day in Hell!

September 14, 2017 8:20 PM

ABrian - right you are! Democrats don't keep promises. President Bush I raised taxes after Democrats promised to cut spending. The Democrats spent $1.40 for every extra dollar that came in.

Democrats promised President Reagan that they'd secure the border if he gave amnesty to illegals who were already here. He gave amnesty; they left the border open. Here we are again except that some of the illegals are more violent than they were.

Democrats politicized the Supreme Court by trashing Justice Bork, trying to trash Justice Thomas, and appointing a racist "Wise Latina."

"The Long-Departed Gun Control Train" at http://www.scragged.com/articles/the-long-departed-gun-control-train shows why no gun owner can trust Democrats no matter what they say.

"No fly, no buy" sounds fine, but they'll put everyone they don't like on the no fly list and set a court date a decade hence to argue about it. Just ask "Joe the Plumber" http://www.scragged.com/articles/joe-the-plumber-and-the-myth-of-privacy how that feels.

September 15, 2017 7:35 PM
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