The most intractable political problems we struggle with as a nation are not usually the result of the an issue inherently being particularly complex. More often the problem has been tied into a Gordian knot on the scale of a roadside “world’s largest ball of twine” attraction by all the ham handed attempts by Congress to fix it over the years. Health care certainly falls into this category; no one in Washington seems able to admit that the root cause of the problem is Washington and its constant meddling in the health insurance market. Immigration is also a problem which has been made ridiculous by decades of compounded failure. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was President Barack Obama’s attempt to solve a piece of the immigration mess through executive branch overreach.
That overreach split one problem into two problems. The immigration problem is what to do with people who are technically illegal aliens but who were brought to the United States as minor children by their parents. Most of them have known no other home than the United States. The second problem is abuse of power. Attempting to address one problem by capriciously exercising power not delegated to him by the Constitution, Obama only made matters worse. Naturally you won’t hear anything in the mainstream media breaking it down as two different problems. You’ll only hear that opposing DACA equates to supporting the deportation of people who are Americans in every manner except legally. You’ll also hear these people referred to as “Dreamers” rather than people who have a particular legal problem with their immigration status that needs to be addressed legally. (I refuse to use the “Dreamers” nomenclature because it suggests these people have some moral superiority to natural born citizens.)
Theirs is a very unique situation and requires a different solution than build the wall, ship ’em back to Mexico. Make no mistake, the hard core of President Trump’s base may oppose Barack Obama’s abuse of power but they also oppose giving any consideration to people who are here illegally but through no fault of their own. Check out some of the popular posts on the subreddit r/The_Donald if you don’t believe me.
There are plenty of mouth breathers with sweat stained MAGA caps screeching that the only solution is kicking people out of the country and anyone who suggests that this is not a black and white, one size fits all problem is just a RINO squish “libturd.” (Most of them probably fall into the pseudo-alpha male category described by Jay Caruso.) I recognize that Congressional Republicans have been mostly incompetent in their attempts to address these issues, but that makes it no less stupid to suggest deporting people indiscriminately to countries they may not have even seen since they were infants.
We need to address the problem that spawned DACA rationally rather than chaotically. Making law by Presidential fiat and rabid jingoism are both chaotic approaches to the issue and equally terrible. We need to acknowledge two indisputable facts of life in the process.
Fact one: There is a moral difference between intentionally entering this country illegally and being carried or led across the border as an infant or minor child. To say parent and child are equally culpable for their immigration status is absurd.
Fact two: Everyone is dealt complications to some degree because of decisions made by their parents. Some of these complications have legal ramifications and no one should be assumed to be immune from them in a nation that claims to honor the rule of law.
I think the legal status of these people deserves to be considered differently than that of people who intentionally jump the border illegally because of the different moral culpability. However, I also oppose things like state legislation granting them in state tuition because that does not address the real legal problem these people inherited from their parents. It just pretends it doesn’t exist.
The people whom DACA was intended to help need to clear up their legal problems and the government needs to provide a process for doing so. The end result of that process should be some form of permanent legal residency that does not require people to re-apply again and again. It should not be an amnesty though. It may not seem fair to make people pay for legal problems their parents created but since when is anything fair? We all have to deal with the consequences of personal, legal, financial, and other decisions our parents made. Let’s give people a way to actually deal with them though so they can move on.