Early in the next Congress it is anticipated that legislation will be offered to legalize Barack Obama’s illegal action in allowing “Dreamers,” that is, illegal aliens who were allegedly brought to the United States at an early age and who know no other nation, to be granted credentials allowing them to remain legally in the United States and work here.
Senate Minority Leader Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., partnered to introduce legislation Friday that would protect the young immigrants should Trump repeal the executive action before Congress takes up immigration reform. The protection would be temporary to keep them from being deported while Congress decides what it wants to do on immigration
Durbin said the bill, dubbed the BRIDGE Act, will be re-introduced when Congress convenes next year. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., are the cosponsors on the bill so far.
Some 744,000 young immigrants are working and and are protected from deportation through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. President Barack Obama created the program in 2012 through executive action. But during the campaign Trump said it was one of the actions he’d repeal.
Essentially, the legislation would create a three-year program from enactment to give temporary protection from deportation for people eligible for DACA and let them keep working. Eligibility for the “provisional protected presence” would be the same as the criteria for eligibility for DACA. Those who already have DACA would be grandfathered in and when their DACA lapses would be able to apply for the temporary protection.
People who don’t have DACA status but would be eligible also can apply. Applicants would be protected from deportation until their application is processed. Those who are under 15 and in deportation proceedings also could apply.
This bill is legal gibberish and it is morally reprehensible. It is the prime example of why we can’t make meaningful progress on immigration reform: because no one wants an solution, they merely want to look like they want a solution.
These young men and women are either illegal or they are not. This is a pretty simple concept to grasp. There is no middle ground. The questions before the Congress is whether they should ratify Obama’s patently illegal action and how to render justice to a cohort of illegal aliens which alleges, absent any real proof, that they were brought here as young children.
The answer to the first question should be a resounding no. Obama’s brutalizing of our code of laws should be repudiated. Any law recognizing the way he has destroyed the way in which immigration law is administered must be rejected. So on that ground alone, Congress should oppose this legislation.
On the other hand the DREAMers have a valid point. They, in seeming good faith, identified themselves to federal authorities. It would be wrong, though fairly typical of the way the federal government works, to screw these people over for doing their best to obtain a legal status. So, Congress should take some action. The action is should not take is precisely the one it is contemplating now. That is, creating a new class of illegal aliens who are allowed to remain in the United States as part of a semi-permanent underclass.
Fortunately, there is an easy answer. Congress should grant legal residency, a “green card,” as a one-time offer to all those who have turned themselves in. This would avoid creating a class of illegals who are allowed to stay… because we think it would be immoral to deport them… but who are perpetually at risk of deportation. At the same time, it should specifically forbid this kind of program in the future and it MUST limit the program to those who currently in it. These actions — resident alien status, a hard and fast deadline for eligibility, and a legal prohibition on this bullsh** by a future president — would also close the door on this DREAMer nonsense for once and for all so that we are not constantly revisiting this problem.