By: Joe Mauricio
We have every reason to assume the worst when it comes to President Trump’s motivation in rescinding DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the program allowing undocumented immigrants to live and work openly if they came to U.S. as children. Trump’s public justification is that President Obama’s creation of DACA programs for executive action was unconstitutional…a usurpation of Congress, a process violation.
Yet Trump did not figure for constitutional niceties in his initial order to keep people from certain Muslim-majority countries outside of the U.S. Now, to potentially send Hispanics out of the country, he has discovered an appreciation for process and precedent. There is a theme here, and it is not respect for the rule of law. Trump does not deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to issues and race and ethnicity. He has displayed malevolent prejudice for political reasons. His action on DACA is another installment in these disturbing series.
But, apart from Trump’s motivation, was his action on DACA the right deed? Not certainly, by the measure of its outcome. Trump has removed reasonable protection from sympathetic groups. It would be a grave injustice to send “dreamers” home to countries that many hardly visited.
A democracy, however, considers more the outcome or else the American system of government would be LIKE the Chinese system of government. And the constitutional case concerning DACA is not obvious.
The legal matter is at issue. Does the executive branch have enough discretion and authority to interpret immigration laws in the manner set out by Obama—essentially as a new pseudo program that grants benefits to a group that Congress did not mark out for benefits? The court has granted broad discretion to immigration officials in determining who to deport and who not to deport.
The fact that the law is not applied equally on every case does not invalidate the just application of the law. Can this discretion be applied to an entire class of undocumented people who are then granted a package of benefits (including work permits, advance parole to travel in and out of the country and, eventually, Social Security and Medicare)?
For most of his presidency, Obama maintained that creating such program by executive action would be overreached. In 2016, out of frustration with congressional inaction, a plan to put the issue on Congress, and a busy fall, squeezing Republican and Democratic leadership to decide what their bases could swallow to find a compromise that would keep nearly 800,000 people who benefit from the program, having their lives upended.
President Trump signaled Congress’s central role…Congress, get ready to do your report on DACA. As the administration has held meetings for weeks about how to respond to an ultimatum from ten states attorneys- general about the future of DACA. Members of Congress have publicly called on the administration to preserve the program long enough for legislative fix should be a high priority. Lawmakers believe more Republicans would vote for the proposal if it came from the floor.
DACA has a way to go away for what is to become a reality. That sums a win-win for everybody,
Well, Congress, do the right thing so you guys can go home to your constituents with your heads up high. Food for thought: As far as many are concerned, passing Dream Act will kill the white supremacist agenda.