Former President Barack Obama is weighing in today on the 10th anniversary of DACA, a program he put in place for illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children. The reason for giving them special breaks is because they were brought here not by their choice but by the choice made by their parents. The program was always meant to be temporary but to listen to Obama today, it’s clear that he’d like it to be a permanent program.
DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, began ten years ago when Barack Obama realized his hopes of immigration law reforms were not going to happen. So, he took pen in hand and conjured up a plan of his own. The goal was to protect the minors brought here illegally by their parents. No doubt he was thinking of future Democrat voters once they become citizens. Obama was one of several American presidents who sought to reform immigration law but failed to do so because it is such a hot button issue on both sides of the aisle. Politicians don’t want to solve the issue, they want to keep it and campaign and fundraise on it.
Today twenty Dreamers (those in the DACA program) will be at the White House with Biden administration officials like Kamala Harris and the co-president, Jill Biden, to celebrate their special status while discussing preserving the protections of DACA. Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice will also attend. Dreamers who are unable to attend will participate virtually with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ur Jaddou.
Obama released a statement.
“For all they have done for our nation, and all they will continue to do, DACA recipients and their families deserve better. Today, I’m renewing my call for Congress to redouble its efforts to build a smart and compassionate immigration system that offers Dreamers a path to citizenship,” said Obama in a statement.
A White House official said Tuesday that the administration is hosting the Dreamers to celebrate the anniversary of the program, which President Biden “considers one of his proudest accomplishments with President Obama.”
“These discussions will focus on the President’s commitment to preserving this landmark policy, and call on Congress to pass legislation that provides lasting protections for Dreamers and make the economic case for providing Dreamers a pathway to citizenship,” said the official.
“We are a better nation—a stronger nation—because of DACA recipients,” said Obama.
“It is not lost on them or me that the DACA program was, and is, temporary. It remains vulnerable to politicians who choose to ignore DACA’s remarkable benefits to our country. These Dreamers lived through the cruelty of the previous administration’s attacks and legal challenges to the program, their families, and their communities,” he added, calling on Congress to build a “commonsense immigration system.”
“It’s on all of us to finish this work.”
At least he is honest about the goal – a pathway to citizenship. Obama wanted to sign an executive order and create a whole new group of Democrat voters even though they are not legal citizens. He intended to make them legal citizens. Remember when Obama was touted as a constitutional scholar? Good time, good times. He never had any problem bypassing Congress on an issue and Biden has kept the same bad habits alive during his administration.
What are the benefits currently available to Dreamers? They are given a two-year work permit, deportations are deferred, and they are allowed to apply for an international travel allowance. So, they can work in the United States without fear and receive a special allowance for it, too. More than 800,000 people have used the program for work and education opportunities. DACA also qualifies them for basic government services not available for illegal aliens. Currently, there are 611,000 people receiving DACA benefits.
The celebration of DACA’s tenth anniversary is somewhat muted, though, as the program has been found to be an illegal one. Obama said at the time he knew it was but signed the executive order anyway. A federal judge ruled DACA to be illegal in 2021. Judge Andrew Hanen also barred future applications. The ruling did not, however, cancel current permits for hundreds of thousands of people. They remain in legal limbo. The solution is for Congress to act. The ruling came from a 2018 lawsuit filed by Texas and eight other states against the federal program. The states argue that they face irreparable harm because of bearing the extra costs from providing the services made available to Dreamers, like health care, education, and law enforcement protection.
Obama may fret about the future of DACA and wanting to make it a permanent program but it’s a bit insincere when he says, “It’s on all of us to finish this work.” It was solely on him when he signed the executive order. The rest of us pay the price. The truth is that Joe Biden and his administration are, indeed, finishing the work. The Biden border crisis has let in almost two million illegal migrants so far and many will remain in the United States. There are thousands of unaccompanied minors who are finding homes in the United States, too. Biden deliberately opened the southern border on his first day in office. Obama says the previous administration’s “attacks” and legal challenges were cruel. More clear-eyed people would call the actions as following the law as it is now written. Feelings don’t override federal law.
Children suffer the consequences of decisions made by their parents, that’s a fact. This is no different. Families coming here illegally should not be rewarded for breaking the law by receiving a pathway to citizenship.