Earlier today, I outlined a common-sense compromise that a functional Congress could hammer out to formalize President Obama’s DREAM Act-by-fiat, which President Trump is beginning to phase out. Trump has indicated that he’s moved by the plight of DACA-eligible illegal immigrants, who were brought to America as young children, and for whom this country has always felt like home. Truth be told, Trump may have quietly kept the Obama-era executive action in place indefinitely, if not for threatened lawsuits from a number of Republican-held states that likely forced his hand. As it stands today, the Trump administration has rolled out new guidelines that freeze new DACA applications immediately, and limit current recipients to one more re-application, which would be valid for a period of two years.
For his part, the president is urging Congress to ‘do its job’ — which suggests he’s willing to sign a bill that would codify his predecessor’s unilateral policy:
Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2017
As mentioned above, I described the easiest path for this to be accomplished earlier, as well as the obstacles that could derail a permanent fix that most Americans — the president included, apparently — support. Trump is right to put this on Congress, whose inaction over years helped Obama justify his constitutionally-dubious power grab. The so-called DREAMers are an exceptionally sympathetic group (take a moment to read this young man’s story), and lawmakers should move to formalize deportation-avoiding protections for otherwise-law-abiding members of that bloc. That would be legal, fair and just, and pairing that endeavor with an immigration enforcement upgrade would be a reasonable legislative trade-off. But is Team Trump already undermining the sense of urgency they’re seeking to create by whispering to reporters that the president won’t end up drawing a hard line against DREAMers if the issue isn’t resolved by the legislative branch?
Back to the ABC story: “Officials insist that even if Congress fails to enact new protection for the Dreamers, they will not be rounded up and deported. Officials say the priority for deportation will continue to be undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes.” And then there’s this, via Politico:
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) September 5, 2017