Yesterday I was invited to speak to a class at The Evergreen State College about Executive Action (DACA and DAPA programs). I learned some things myself when I did.
First – its just prosecutorial discretion. Consider the policeman who pulls you over when you have been speeding. He does not HAVE to give you a ticket…. and the ICE deportation machine does NOT have to carry out a deportation just because it knows someone is here without documents.
So whats all the fuss? Why are the republicans in congress and republican governors so bent on taking it down? I suppose its this — Once in a protected status, the government already has a system to offer offer temporary work permission, which feels like, but is not, fully legal status. So it looks like, but is not – legalization (some would say amnesty). Those who oppose don’t like that this program looks like a law that really should be passed by Congress… (by them!) It looks like a law, and they don’t think that the president has the authority to announce a program that looks like a law. And so they filed a lawsuit (Texas v. U.S.) that has temporarily blocked the program.
The opposition is based on a deeply held concept. We don’t reward “law-breakers”. This becomes a choice — to keep this large class of people down and punished for their actions… forever, rather than to give them one iota of “reward.” Mean.
We can’t deport the undocumented population. Its impossible. And impossibly cruel, since the vast majority of those here illegally are by now linked by marriage or birth to U.S. citizens, and we are not planning to also kick out those family members… We should not be planning to cash in on this population with increased private for-profit prisons. That’s immoral – politicians like Marco Rubio who benefit from that industry need to be called out.
Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton are already talking about what immigration policies they might support if elected…
So what to do about the executive action? Isn’t it much smarter to allow the undocumented or illegal population to stay, (in temporary increments) and help them to contribute more to our country which they obviously support? Imagine the increased happiness if DAPA goes ahead….
Later this month a decision is expected from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the DAPA program. Lets hope common sense prevails.