Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery knows what he’s talking about when it comes to DACA.
The Republican attorney general, in a letter to Tennessee’s two Republican U.S. senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, acknowledged the fact that he was one of a handful of Republican attorneys general who threatened to sue the Trump administration if it did not rescind DACA, the federal program that grants temporary legal status to 800,000 children and young adults who came to the U.S. illegally as children through no fault of their own.
The group of state attorneys general, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, threatened to sue the administration if it did not rescind the Obama-era executive order, known as DACA, by September 5, which the Trump administration announced Tuesday.
Just four days before the administration’s DACA announcement, however, Slatery sent a letter to Alexander and Corker, saying there was “another way” to go about addressing the estimated 800,000 DACA recipients, known as DREAMers, who are currently in the country, rather than yanking legal status from them and, in many cases, sending them back to countries they don’t even remember.
Slatery rightly acknowledged in his September 1 letter to the senators that President Barack Obama’s issuance of DACA was unconstitutional. Slatery even went as far as to suggest in the letter that, should a legal proceeding against the Trump administration for hypothetically failing to rescind Obama’s DACA order go forward, the states would come out on top in the end.
However, Slatery added, “there is a human element to this…that is not lost on me and should not be ignored.”
Let me just provide a quick summary here, though. DREAMers, while they were technically in the U.S. illegally, are not criminals. Their parents who brought them here are criminals. Their parents should pay a fine as punishment for those crimes. Meanwhile, DREAMers and their parents should be allowed to stay in the U.S. Why? Because, as one recent study indicated, DREAMers contribute billions of dollars each year to the American economy.
In fact, it is in American taxpayers’ best interest to keep them here. It’s in taxpayers’ worst interest to kick them out.
Slatery really hit the nail on the head in his September 1 letter. In it, the Republican Tennessee attorney general wrote:
Many of the DACA recipients, some of whose records I reviewed, have outstanding accomplishments and laudable ambitions, which if achieved, will be of great benef,rt and service to our country. They have an appreciation for the opportunities afforded them by our country.
It’s refreshing to know that there are still Republicans like Slatery who, despite what many in his own political party are saying, goes against the grain and stands up for his fellow humans. Not only is it the right and humane thing to do, it will undoubtedly prove to be politically convenient in the long run.
The Trump administration and congressional Republicans who oppose DACA would do well to follow Slatery’s lead.