What’s Next for ‘Dreamers”

Now that the Senate has failed to pass legislation that addresses the immigration concerns of the American people and Democratic leadership’s perceived need to protect the so-called ‘dreamer’ illegal aliens, the House becomes the focus of the acrimony. But if the House similarly finds Democrats unwilling to compromise their fixation on an amnesty for the ‘dreamers,’ the question becomes “what next?”

Activist judges in some jurisdictions are attempting to use the judicial system to protect the ‘dreamers’ from the possibility of deportation that is provided for in law – as NPR noted on February 16. Those efforts appear to be necessarily headed for the Supreme Court where the constitutionality of President Obama’s executive action decreeing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) must be decided. Remember that President Obama, on 22 occasions, said he did not have the legal authority to protect the ‘Dreamers’ en masse – before he went ahead and took the action anyway.

Pending a court resolution, ‘dreamers’ and their political backers are probably content with the status quo as long as that means they can continue to work and be protected against deportation – absent criminal conviction.

What appears to have not been discussed is whether the court challenges to deportation of the ‘dreamers’ also allows their continued legal employment. If the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stops renewing DACA status for them on March 5, or whenever two highly political lower court injunctions are inevitably overturned, the work permits issued to them will also expire. Are they likely to voluntarily end their employment at that time? Is DHS likely to send the employers of former DACA beneficiaries a notice the alien is no longer authorized to work and that the employer is subject to sanctions if illegal employment continues? If the employment status of ‘dreamers’ is terminated, it likely would create new urgency among them and their sponsors in seeking a political settlement that includes real enforcement and immigration reform provisions.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    DACA means deferred action, nothing permanent. I’m really glad to find out that deportations are up dramatically. They’re just sneaking into Mexifornia because of their sanctuary policies. Border patrol needs to stop that NOW!

  2. avatar

    I agree DACA DREAMER and those programs should be cancelled and no amnesty. If they get a legal status we will so srewed as USA citizens. They ask for more protection then a us citiz
    en that’s not fair. I could bet more then 80 percent of the DACA shouldn’t be here.

  3. avatar

    Why can’t we as citizens forcibly remove them ourselves and give ICE a helping hand? They are here illegally and anyone helping them are traitors. I didn’t serve 20 years in the US Army to protect illegal. To me they are invaders and an enemy I would force out of our country. If civil war breaks out!

  4. avatar

    I agree no amnesty no citizenship no reward for breaking our laws deport all illegal aliens no anchor babies that’s is a problem that needs to be taken care of,anyone protecting illegal aliens should be tried for treason against United States.

  5. avatar

    I think any judge, politician or any elected officials. If they refuse too protect protect American citizens and insist on protecting illegal aliens. They should be accused of treason! These elected officials should be recalled from office, and the radical judges should be disbarred from the bench!

  6. avatar

    it is mind numbing that the illegal alien issue is even being challenged in the courts. They are all “criminals” by definition and have broken our immigration laws….. they all must be deported. No other recourse….

    IT is also high time to jail all the corrupt elected officials who continue to harbor these illegal aliens..

  7. avatar

    So far all the “bipartisan” Senate proposals are nothing but massive amnesties in disguise with just smoke and mirrors enforcement actions. Any bill that tells ICE that they can only go after illegals who have committed some further illegal act besides illegal entry is stopping ICE from doing their job and will result in more staying here for good and encourage more to come. They just want to put Obama’s executive actions into law because that was exactly his policy.

    Beware of any thing that has Lindsey Graham’s endorsement because it’s a virtual carbon copy of lying Chuck Schumer’s positions. Somebody forgot to tell Graham, and the media, that he washed out of the 2016 primaries with less than one percent support in the early polls. He’s a leader of nothing but corporate interests.

    As far as cutting funds to sanctuary jurisdictions, that’s only common sense. They make it much more difficult for ICE to do their job because of their non-cooperation. Whereas ICE can pick someone up in a jail, it takes extra manpower to find and detain them once they are released back into the communities where they make an effort to hide.

    It’s always Russia Russia Russia trying to influence our voting but just propose that we have secure voting ID, which is not hard to obtain, and that’s racism and trying to suppress minority voting. There is proof of voting by non citizens, in considerable numbers in many cases, in states like Virginia.

    • avatar

      With his or her “Start the process for U.S. citizenship or GO HOME!!!”, JMUTCH indicates non-comprehension of a basic point: These DACA recipients don’t have a status that would let them start on the process of becoming U.S. citizens.

      And a good thing that they don’t. Because if they did, it would mean they already were Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). And I’m glad they don’t have that status. Since I, too, want to see them leave on their own or, failing that, be forcibly deported.

      • avatar

        What needs to be addressed is the comprehension of “Natural Born” by parents versus “Natural Born” by nationality. The DACA recipients are technically Natural Born by parents, so if their parents are illegal it passes on to their offspring(s) they brought over as well. This is like when American parents have a child overseas then their Child is American as well. Ironically, Obama and Clinton when in the Senate had to address the legal status for John McCain to run for president because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone. The term “Anchor Babies” is also illegal because the law specifically says that the parents are subject to the jurisdiction of the laws of the country and if they are here illegally then they are in violation of the jurisdiction of the laws. The states supposedly imposing “sanctuary” is also in violation of the Federal Immigration Laws and the 10th Amendment does not give credence.
        The BIG PROBLEM is federal judges that legislate and over step their authority. Everytime an issue concerning Trump’s LEGAL Executive Actions, the liberals had a pick from over 600 Clinton/Obama federal appointees to stop them.

  8. avatar
    James R. Alexander on

    Since these ILLEGAL ALIENS are treading on thin ice in a foreign Country, I would simply suggest they begin “self-deporting” now rather than later. They are not citizens of this Country; arrived here ILLEGALLY; have been living here ILLEGALLY and sponging off the American taxpayer ILLEGALLY. DEPORTATION is the only answer.