Melina’s Memorandum: DACA Deal Uncertainty

Following a tweet from President Donald Trump stating, “Border Patrol agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release… NO MORE DACA DEAL,” the prospect of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) being reinstated as law seems slimmer and slimmer.

The tweet came after a “Fox and Friends” news episode showing a caravan consisting of Central American immigrants headed for the U.S., who were said to be explicitly seeking asylum.

Trump also said, “The big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA. They want in on the act,” and that Republican lawmakers should use the “nuclear option” to pass harsh immigration legislation. The nuclear option refers to a last ditch effort by the majority party to pass legislation by changing the rules of the Senate to require only a simple majority to pass and avoid filibuster, instead of the currently required two-thirds.

There are two main flaws in the rationale used by the president to arrive at the conclusion that there should be no pathway for Dreamers. Firstly, seeking asylum is very different than trying to pass into the U.S. undetected, as Trump is implying. Seeking asylum involves the individual presenting themselves to Border Patrol agents, then being registered and assessed for their need of asylum, rather than sneaking into the country just to “take advantage of favorable immigration legislation.”

Additionally, DACA is not taking new individuals, because of Trump’s winding down of the program. Newcomers could not apply for it even if they did make it into the U.S. Even then, if DACA was reinstated in its current form, it only applies to individuals who have lived in the U.S. since 2007, have arrived before the age of 16 and were under 31 before June of 2012.

DACA has little to nothing to do with Central American groups seeking asylum in the U.S. right now. If Trump was speaking about the effects of these groups on comprehensive immigration legislation that encompasses border enforcements or measures for new arrivals, then it would be an appropriate statement. However, the president is holding a group of young Americans lives in ambiguity until new measures are passed for them, which is completely inappropriate. Dreamers are left in a waiting game because of the president’s unwillingness to understand the details of the issue he seems so confident about.

As my last political piece for “The Patriot”, it was only fitting to end with a DACA piece, as that was how I started. I went from being optimistic of the president’s ability to take care of this group of Americans who needed the government’s guidance, to being increasingly skeptical that the administration would allow them to continue their lives contributing to our great country.

If there is one thing I can leave the readers with is that it is now more important than ever to break past partisan alliances and see both sides of the political perspective. Just because you are a Republican doesn’t mean you need to support Trump, and just because you are a Democrat doesn’t mean you need to hate him. Your take on any given political situation should include fact-checked information from both sides to determine your conclusion. My pieces have been pulled from media sources with biases on both sides, empirical studies and from lawmakers on each side of the aisle. Choose to take the academic road rather than the partisan one, and you will find a well-rounded opinion.