DACA, the law, and doing the right thing

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on September 6, 2017

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA as it is more popularly known, will be winding down in six months (maybe) and the media and the American left (but I repeat myself) are in full-blown meltdown mode.

A brief history of DACA: After years of claiming (accurately) that the constitution prohibited him from making something like the DREAM Act law on his own, without the approval of Congress, President Obama decided that he had been lying and had the power all along under the guise of prosecutorial discretion. In short, Obama would not initiate deportation proceedings against kids and adults who were brought to this country as minors and would allow them to apply for a work permits which would allow them to work legally in the U.S.

DACA is illegal

Here's the thing: all of that was at the very least extra-legal. In the opinion of many legal experts, it was downright illegal. President Obama tried to stretch prosecutorial discretion—the principle that the government doesn't have the resources to prosecute every crime, so it may choose to sometimes not prosecute illegal activity—into an effectively blanket veto of a duly-passed law. Obama's Justice Department wasn't looking at these immigration cases on a case-by-case basis, it was saying it wouldn't prosecute any of them. And on top of that, register with the government and we'll give you a permit to work that had no basis in any law passed by Congress.

It would be like Trump announcing tomorrow that he would use prosecutorial discretion and direct the IRS and the Justice Department not to go after anyone who refused to pay capital gains taxes. Oh how the media would howl.

Return to Normalcy

I realize that sounds really odd with President Donald Trump occupying the Oval Office, but that's really what this is. Trump is wiping away President Obama's "Pen and Phone" law-making and returning that power where it belongs: Congress.

Congress should use this time to give some assurance to, potentially, a couple million young people who, through no fault of their own, were brought to this country illegally by their parents. For some of them, this is the only country they've ever really known.

But this cannot be a repeating process that occurs every decade or so either. We can't continue to allow illegal immigration on a huge scale and then offer those people normalization of some sort again and again and again. (If Democrats would like to get rid of our laws against illegal immigration, then that at least would be some honesty. Run on that and see where it gets them.) It flouts our law and is an insult to those who follow the law and immigrate legally.

The creation of some sort of legal status for these people needs to include some additional law enforcement. Whether that is a wall or making the currently voluntary eVerify system required is something for lawmakers to debate.

This is how you got Trump

The so-called Dreamers should practice some humility. Yes, your situation wasn't of your own making. Yes, it's tough. But you'd be well advised not to follow the lead of notorious scofflaw Jose Antonio Vargas.

This sort of in-your-face, you owe us attitude that includes things like preferential admissions to colleges ahead of citizens and legal residents is a big part of how you got Trump. It may be popular in California, but this doesn't fly in places like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

I hope and believe that Congress can come to some agreement on a DREAM Act (including Democrats) that will allow most of you to stay and make a positive impact on this country. However, in this situation, public protests, blocking roads and following in the footsteps of Antifa aren't going to help your cause.


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September 2017



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