Trump Could Be Bailed Out By Congress
President Trump faces what has been called a “difficult decision” when it comes to ending DACA. The program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, put in place by the Obama administration in 2012 and protects undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States before the age of 16 and were under 31 years of age at the time that the legislation went into effect. While this week Trump promised to end DACA, a group of Republicans in Congress are working to craft a bill called the Republican “Dream Act”. Doing so would bail Trump out of a political dilemma – he has promised his far-right base an end to DACA, but upon previously facing public backlash expressed the need to handle the situation with “compassion and heart”. The Republicans’ “Dream Act” would create a path to citizenship for those under 16 years of age who entered the United States before Jan. 1, 2012.
“Compassion and Heart”
Leaving DACA recipients in limbo is immoral. There seems to be no logical reason for ending DACA outside of fulfilling a campaign promise and to satisfy a Republican fixation upon undoing Obama’s legacy. Questions remain unanswered, namely how Dreamers will be affected by the repeal of DACA as work permits expire. Creating the new legislation and passing it through Congress could take a massive political effort and quite a bit of time, depending on whether Republicans can smooth over already visible rifts in their party and unite in the name of Trump’s legacy. How many people will be deported in the process? How many lives will be put on hold?
Left out of the DACA debate is the fact that earlier in August the Trump asked the Department of Homeland Security to end a program put in place by the Obama Administration that allowed young people fleeing violence in Central America temporary entry to the United States upon being unable to qualify for refugee status. This has left many with limited options. While Republicans in Congress may ultimately choose to present Dreamers with a solution (albeit for political victory rather than for the sake of human rights), a large number of people still do not have a path to residency, and the Republican Dream Act provides them no protections. The rights of immigrants and refugees should not be a difficult decision. They should be a priority.