DACA at the five year mark

Mark Krikorian points out that today is the fifth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA is President Obama’s lawless amnesty diktat. It enables adult illegal aliens who claim to have come to the U.S. before age 16 to get work permits, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, etc. Nearly 800,000 people have done so.

Candidate Donald Trump promised to end DACA on “day one.” Like much of his campaign rhetoric, the promise was empty. DACA remains in place. “Day one” — like “right now,” and “very soon” — turned out to mean “later, if at all.”

Krikorian argues that it’s time to end DACA. He explains:

Adults who were brought here illegally by their parents at very young ages (toddlers, not teenagers) are indeed good candidates for amnesty – they’ve grown up here and formed their identities as Americans. But it’s Congress that makes laws, not the president, as President Obama himself pointed out a year before the DACA decree: “for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.”

DACA may be on its way out without the active involvement of the Trump administration:

The anti-borders crowd’s real fear is that DACA will be added to the multi-state lawsuit, led by Texas, against DAPA – Obama’s even larger lawless amnesty for illegals with U.S.-born children, that never went into effect because it was stopped in the courts.

Since the legal pretext used by the Obama administration to justify DACA is identical to DAPA, it could well be that at the next hearing on the lawsuit, coming up in a few weeks, the judge will allow DACA to be swapped in for DAPA (which DHS has rescinded). If that were to happen, DHS Secretary Kelly, now White House Chief of Staff, has said the administration might not be able to defend it in court. (I don’t think there’s any “might” about it.)

Krikorian sees a way to put DACA-style amnesty on a solid legal footing as part of a big fix of our immigration system:

The president has expressed sympathy for the DACAs, a sentiment probably shared by most Americans. But rather than reacting to events, the way to proceed would be to phase out DACA and at the same time propose a legislative compromise.

Announce that DACA renewals will only be processed until December 31, after which they will start expiring. (It would take two years for all of them to lapse.) That would light a fire under Congress to pass a package upgrading the DACAs from their lawless Obama amnesty to a genuine lawful one, in exchange for the RAISE Act, the Davis-Oliver Act, and mandatory E-Verify.

The Democrats will balk at first, but the clock will be ticking.

I’m less confident than Krikorian that Democrats will ever go along with such a compromise. Considering the alternatives, however, I think it’s worth a try.

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