When all is said and done, it’s very likely that the Republican-controlled Congress will offer some variation of amnesty than President Obama was ever able to protect through executive order. Moreover, their protections will be legislative, permanent, and unlikely to draw nearly the same legal challenges the former President prompted.
When President Trump rescinded DACA protections following a six-month period, he passed the buck to Congress to act in time. He even declared that if they didn’t act, he would. The number of people protected under DACA is around 700,000. Of the five main bills on the table, the lowest level of protection extends to 1.3 million while the heaviest, proposed by Luis Gutierrez, triples that number.
In other words, the best-case scenario is that the GOP will only protect twice as many illegal immigrants as President Obama did.
This shouldn’t sit well with immigration hawks who believed the President’s promise to deport illegal immigrants and prevent more from coming over. Nine months into his presidency, he and the GOP majority on Capitol Hill have done the exact opposite. Sure, the prototypes for the border wall are currently being built, but that’s a long-term fix that currently doesn’t even have any funding appropriated.
I’ll post some final thoughts below, but first, let’s look at how this is being received around the web:
As many as 3.6 million illegal immigrant “Dreamers” could be in line for permanent legal status in the U.S. under plans being circulated on Capitol Hill to replace the Obama-era DACA deportation amnesty, according to a new report Friday from the Migration Policy Institute.
In each case it’s well beyond the 700,000 people being protected by the DACA program right now, underscoring the creeping scope of amnesty Congress is considering.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said today that while President Donald Trump’s actions on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have been “heartbreaking,” she has “confidence” he will stand by the young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, known as Dreamers, going forward.
Pelosi told “The View” Friday that every president “in recent history,” including Republicans like Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, “have been respectful of what immigration means to our country.”
This Obama-era executive action allowed “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants who arrived as minors, to register with the government and legally study or work without fear of deportation. The newly organized Coalition appears to be unrelated to an Oklahoma-based group founded in 2006 that shares the same name: Coalition for the American Dream. (The Oklahoma group also “advocate[s] for and protect[s] the rights of disenfranchised immigrants and new Americans from all nations.”)
The sad reality is this: fewer illegal immigrants would have been granted protections if they’d just left DACA the way it was. It would have possibly been struck down by the Supreme Court, anyway. Now, it seems like Congress is going to up the ante on the former president’s legacy and protect many more illegal immigrants than Obama ever could. So much for “America First.”