On Tuesday, President Donald Trump plans to announce the end of DACA, the federal program that guarantees roughly 800,000 DREAMers temporary legal status in the United States, with a six-month delay to allow the Republican-controlled Congress to come up with a legislative solution to the hotly-contested issue.
The core argument of conservatives when it comes to immigration, specifically illegal immigration, is the idea that, ‘ “they came into this country illegally, they should follow the law and follow legal process like everyone else. It’s only fitting that we kick them out.'”
That’s a somewhat valid argument, although, given the circumstances, I strongly disagree with it.
DREAMers, are children and young adults, who, unlike the millions of people who made the conscious decision to cross into the U.S. illegally, came into the U.S through no fault of their own. Many simply held their parents hand, unaware of what was actually happening.
Why, then, should they be held accountable years later for the actions of their parents? The short answer is: They shouldn’t.
They should be granted permanent legal status – not U.S. citizenship – but permanent legal status, in exchange for their parents being required to pay a fine for illegally crossing the border. If parents of DREAMers are unwilling to pay the fine, deportation could be an option for them, as well as for their children.
This, quite frankly, is the best attempt to enforce immigration laws that, in many cases, were violated years ago, while keeping families together.
No doubt, plenty on the Right will call this proposal amnesty. Meanwhile, a considerable number on the Left will label it “bigotry”. Obviously, I would take issue with either of these characterizations.
It is unworkable, untenable, impractical and, indeed, inhumane to round up 11 million people and deport them. Not to mention, the cost to U.S. taxpayers to deport those 11 million illegal immigrants would be far more expensive than simply letting them stay, pay a fine, and continue to contribute to our economy.
These people came to America, because they saw it as a shining city on a hill. This perception, long-held by much of the world, is what truly made America great.
If President Trump truly wants to make America “great again,” he and Republican lawmakers should grant DREAMers permanent legal status and show the world that we are as welcoming as always, because we know that diversity is what made us great in the first place.