DACA Was a Bad Dream

If President Trump decides to let the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) lapse or end it outright, it will be a deserved end to a magnet for illegal immigration based on an unconstitutional executive order by President Barack Hussein Obama who was frustrated that Congress failed to pass it as legislation named the DREAM Act. As syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer observed on Fox News’ Special Report at the time:

You can have executive orders that implement already existing laws. What Obama has done in the DREAM Act, which is exactly what you've talked about. Essentially he passed a law by executive order that the Congress had rejected, wouldn't pass, that is unbelievably unconstitutional. It's as if a Republican ran and said I don't like the capital gains tax, Congress rejects an abolition of that tax and then he orders the IRS not to collect it. People would be up in arms and would be impeaching. He's doing that over and over again on immigration

Even President Obama said he didn’t have the authority to do what he eventually did -- enact the Congressionally rejected DREAM Act through executive order:

With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed -- and I know that everybody here at Bell is studying hard so you know that we’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws.

There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.

Well said, until President Obama spoke out of the other side of his mouth and did it anyway. Now, if a Republican Congress wants to try again to pass a law it rejected under President Obama, they can try. Certainly profiles in porridge like House Speaker Paul Ryan and others have indicated that they would like to complete that part of President Obama’s fundamental transformation of America for him:

Congressional Republicans are looking to revive legislation that could give a deportation reprieve to thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, in turn easing the pressure on President Trump as he faces a deadline to decide the fate of a related Obama-era program.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., is leading the charge on a conservative version of the so-called Dream Act. The talks come as Trump prepares to announce whether he’ll keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program -- which was former President Barack Obama’s unilateral, executive-action version of Dream Act legislation…

On Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said he supported a legislative solution to protect undocumented minors, but also urged the president to reconsider scrapping DACA.

"I actually don't think he should do that and I believe that this is something that Congress has to fix," Ryan said on radio station WCLO in Janesville, Wis., Friday. "President Obama did not have a legislative authority to do what he did."

Okay, the President Trump is undoing an illegal action and reestablishing the rule of law is something everyone should applaud. The DREAM Act or its DACA mutant, however, is something we shouldn’t applaud, if only because American children and their parents have dreams too and those are being underserved. Is it right, for example, that in some states illegal aliens can get in-state tuition rates but that the child of an Afghan war veteran from a neighboring state cannot?

How about repealing and replacing ObamaCare and fulfilling the dreams of overburdened taxpayers who have insurance premium payments higher than their mortgage payments and deductibles so high their insurance cards are worthless? How about passing tax cuts and repatriating American wealth parked overseas so entrepreneurs can fulfill their dreams of creating American jobs?

We are a nation of immigrants, legal immigrants, and we are also a nation of laws. Children were brought to this country illegally by their parents because we failed to enforce our immigration laws. Now would be a good time to start enforcing them.

Hans Von Spakovsky and David Inserra, writing in The Hill, made the case for ending DACA as an unconstitutional magnet for illegal aliens that rewards breaking the law by breaking the law:

As a sovereign nation, we have the right to decide who comes to the U.S. Even if we doubled our current legal immigration quotas, there would still be people who would enter or remain in the U.S. illegally. Enforcing our immigration laws encourages people to come to the U.S. legally and discourages illegal immigration.

Unfortunately, the U.S. government has for many years failed to faithfully enforce our immigration laws. This has inevitably encouraged more and more illegal immigration. DACA is the pinnacle of non-enforcement; not only does it protect illegal immigrants from deportation, it provides benefits that by law are reserved for American citizens and Whether DACA is good public policy or bad public policy is, however, ultimately irrelevant to whether President Trump should end the program. He should end it for the same reasons that the federal courts prevented President Obama from implementing the similar “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents” program or DAPA. Like DACA, DAPA provided an administrative amnesty for illegal aliens and gave them work authorizations and access to government benefits.legal immigrants. Why come to the U.S. legally if you can acquire many of the same benefits by coming illegally?...

the Fifth Circuit said, the fact that the president declined to enforce the law and remove illegal aliens “does not transform presence deemed unlawful by Congress into lawful presence and confer eligibility for otherwise unavailable benefits based on that change.”

End DACA. And while we’re at it, pass some laws that put Americans first so that they can pursue their dreams. And, yes, welcome those who legally come here and dream of becoming American citizens who respect the rule of law, unlike President Obama.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.               

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