The anticipated White House announcement that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will be ended appears to be half-hearted. Rescinding this program President Obama decreed by executive action – that usurped Congress’s power – was a campaign pledge, but President Trump has hedged on delivering on his campaign. Proponents of DACA argue that people who may have been brought to the United States as minors should be allowed to stay. But if they came as part of a family unit, shouldn’t the entire family unit be equally deportable? And, shouldn’t those teenagers who entered illegally on their own be as deportable as those a few years older who also entered illegally?
Because of the emotions – hyped by the defenders of open borders – surrounding the issue of ending the temporary amnesty, the speculation is that the president will allow those with current DACA approval to remain in the country with work permits until their status lapses – which means for up to two more years, as Fox News reported. There is also speculation that President Trump will be willing to negotiate a permanent amnesty for the DACA beneficiaries in exchange for immigration reforms aimed at combating illegal immigration and reducing the level of immigration from the current million plus newcomers annually.
The shortsightedness of ending DACA by allowing the current beneficiaries to stay longer is that it allows the beneficiaries to become more entrenched. It will makes it more difficult to remove them when their temporary amnesty ends. Rather than leave, most are likely to simply revert to illegal residence and defy the immigration authorities to find them, detain them and deport them. It also defers for up to two years the possibility that unemployed U.S. citizens will have access to the jobs currently encumbered by the DACA beneficiaries.
Therefore, the rolling termination of DACA contemplated by the Trump administration, though not ideal, may be the most practical way to end the program, and may be a means to leverage support for true reform measures.