CIS: Congress Hasn’t Justified ‘DACA-Plus’ Amnesty

‘DACA’s illegality is on Obama…’

Congress hasn't justified DACA-plus

Mark Krikorian/IMAGE: YouTube

(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) The White House’s amnesty plan proposed to give a pathway to citizenship to 1.8 million DACA-eligible people.

Since then the debate has shifted from whether DACA participants should receive green cards at all to whether Congress should pass citizenship for the 700,000 DACA participants or citizenship for the 1.8 million DACA-plus group.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, argues in a National Review article that Congress should restrict its actions to the 700,000 people who received protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

For now, the Senate Republican leadership doesn’t have an amnesty bill that they’re rallying around.

Instead, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will bring a shill bill to the floor and allow debate and amendments.

In the House of Representatives, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, introduced the “Securing America’s Future Act,” which includes interior enforcement, border security, an end to chain migration, and amnesty for only the 700,000 DACA recipients.

Goodlatte’s bill would not extend amnesty to people who could have qualified for DACA but did not apply or were too young to apply.

Krikorian wrote that the circumstances of President Barack Obama’s unlawful amnesty program make it necessary for conservatives to address the issues he created.

“The case for amnestying the people with DACA work permits (or rather upgrading them from Obama’s sketchy amnesty-lite to a lawfully enacted amnesty-premium) can be purely pragmatic,” Krikorian wrote. “DACA’s illegality is on Obama, not the 800,000 people who applied in good faith, paid fees, were issued work permits, and were lawfully hired.”

He doesn’t think, however, that conservatives should give DACAs amnesty, since they don’t have a right to stay in the United States, without anything in return.

He says Republicans should include in the bill tighter internal enforcement, limits to chain migration, and cuts in legal immigration to offset the increase in DACA green cards.

Two DACA Recipients Arrested for Human Smuggling

Photo by mollyktadams (CC)

While Krikorian sees the logic in limited DACA amnesty, he says there is no justification for DACA-plus.

He describes it as another attempt to pass the DREAM Act, which Congress and the American public have rejected multiple times since its introduction in 2001.

In deciding whether Congress should pass a new DREAM Act, he considers the arguments made by the pro-amnesty side.

The first argument is that they’re here by “no fault of their own,” and the second is that “they know no other country.”

“The former is little more than a talking point — after all, children often suffer for their parents’ mistakes,” Krikorian wrote. “When the bank forecloses on a house because the adults can’t pay the mortgage, the children don’t get to stay because the loan default was ‘no fault of their own.’”

He gives greater credibility to the second claim.

“Because of our political class’s mulish refusal to enforce immigration laws, there really are young-adult illegal aliens who don’t know any other country, who’ve had all their schooling here, whose identities were formed here as Americans,” he wrote.

Even this standard, he says, falls through because the requirement is that people come to the United States before they are 16 and stay for at least 5 years.

“Is it really plausible that someone who came here at 15½ would become ‘an American in all but paperwork’ by his 21st birthday?” Krikorian asked.

The Dream Act of 2017 raises the age of arrival to 18 and the length of stay to 4 years to receive citizenship.

** MORE DACA COVERAGE at Liberty Headlines **

Krikorian remains humble about the proper age to determine when someone can immigrate to the U.S. and feels a national American identity, but he offers a solution.

“In identifying adults who came here so young, and have been here so long, that they are psychologically and emotionally Americans, a more plausible age-at-arrival cutoff is seven years old and a ten-year period of continuous residence in the United States,” Krikorian wrote.

For Krikorian, it’s acceptable to give amnesty to more people than the original DACA program did, but there has to be a justification for doing so.

“Any gangs of senators (or an administration) arguing for an amnesty that goes beyond simply cleaning up Obama’s DACA mess needs to offer reasons for where the lines are drawn,” Krikorian wrote.