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Is DACA Reasonable Mercy or a Trojan Horse?

By Peter Thomas, Chairman, The Conservative Caucus

President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was necessary since the program had no legal or constitutional basis, and violated the presidential oath to see that the laws are enforced.

What follows, now that the issue is before Congress, will show whether the defenders of DACA are sincere in saying that they wish to distinguish between those deliberately broke the law and those who were young, innocent victims of their parents.  Many of us who oppose amnesty suspect that they simply want to use DACA as the entering wedge for a massive amnesty for as many as eleven million illegal aliens.

Suppose that DACA’s supporters are sincere in saying that those who were brought here as children are an entirely different category from those who made a calculated decision to break the law and who continue breaking it.  What would DACA legislation look like?

First, it would discriminate between those who were brought here and those who, even as minors, came on their own.  The executive branch version of DACA made no distinction, simply assuming that everyone of a certain age must have been brought here by others.  Applicants for DACA should be required to present some evidence (such as the testimony of parents) regarding their illegal entry.

Second, the parents must not be allowed to benefit from their illegal action.  Those who are legalized by DACA should not be allowed to provide legal immigration status to their relatives.  This might be done by completely eliminating this “chain migration”, as already proposed by the President, or by applying the restriction only to those legalized through DACA.

Third, favorable treatment for those in DACA should be combined with a more determined effort to find, detain, and deport those who knowingly committed illegal acts by crossing the border, purchasing forged documents, and taking jobs away from Americans.  Obama claimed that funding provided by Congress was only sufficient for 400,000 deportations a year (a number he never actually reached).  It is time for Congress to provide more resources for this important task.  A deportation goal of as many as one million each year would be reasonable.

When DACA’s advocates line up behind specific legislation, we will quickly see if their concern is merely to help those never willingly broke the law, or to create momentum toward a mass amnesty for millions of lawbreakers.

The Conservative Caucus, a project of Americans for Constitutional Liberty, is a public policy organization, contributions to which are not tax deductible. The IRS has determined ACL to be a 501(c)(4) organization, exempt from Federal income tax. Contributions to ACL are not subject to FEC regulation or disclosure requirements, and corporate donations are permitted.

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