The Plight of DREAMers

DREAMers are young adult immigrants who were children when they entered the USA. As children, they had no choice but to accompany their legal guardians when the latter crossed the U.S. border.

Since their arrival, the DREAMers have become assimilated into the U.S. culture, making them de facto naturalized U.S. residents. It is quite common for DREAMers to have no memory of their nations of origin.

DREAMers, in general, do no harm to the USA, which is why Barack Obama initiated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. As President, Mr. Obama saw no reason for the federal government to go after such small fish when there were bigger fish to fry. As President, Mr. Obama could decide what priorities that federal law officers would have.

Now, Donald Trump is the President, and he has seen fit to put a time limit on DACA in order to force Congress to take action. Like it or not, the authority to establish immigration rules belongs to the legislative branch of the federal government, not the executive branch. What appears to some as an act of cruelty on the part of Mr. Trump is simply an acknowledgement of constitutional reality.

The humane thing to do would be for Congress to pass legislation that would give DREAMers some kind of legal status. DREAMers are not criminals. Their plight is the result of someone else’s illegal behavior.

I cannot think of any reason why DREAMers should not be on the receiving end of mercy. As Micah 6:8 of the Tanakh states, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Ah, but there is the rub. Way too many Americans are mercy-deficient, including those who claim to believe what the Tanakh says.

Yes, justice requires that the federal government to do all it can to end immigration cheating. Immigrants who entered the USA legally are entitled to such justice.

However, in this case, justice and mercy are not mutually exclusive.


Side Note: Wanting to end immigration cheating isn’t the same thing as wanting to end all immigration.

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  • Retired military

    If dreamers have parents who have been naturalized then they should be given a pathway to citizenship. If they are under 18 and no parents in the country they need to go back to their parents.

    If they are over 18 and have criminal records then they need to go back to country of origin.

    If they are over 18 and have taken no steps to try to become legalized they need to go back to country of origin.

    “DREAMers, in general, do no harm to the USA”
    WRONG.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/728c7c860911c34b3675a96f8ca7bf6ae55e657b7dfa71fd132c7a4dc9355a1e.jpg

  • Retired military

    The average age of dreamers is 26. Not a child.

    “Since their arrival, the DREAMers have become assimilated into the U.S. culture, making them de facto naturalized U.S. residents”

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5060bb57d3b36552dc40ea50c4da555361a0db8b80ccd79a414811844dab6e0d.jpg

  • jim_m

    David, Do you understand what an illegal alien is? It is someone who is in this country illegally. Period. It doesn’t matter how they entered the country, or how long they have been here or how old they were when they entered the country.

    So these “Dreamers” are committing a crime by continuing to be present in this country without legal permission to do so. While they may have been brought into this country at a young age, at some point they become aware that they are here illegally and their decision to remain here and to do nothing to rectify the situation makes them culpable for their illegal status.

    Also a “dreamer” is just someone who entered into this country under the age of 16. So 15YO kids who knew that they were entering illegally are “dreamers”. That’s right, by giving these people legal status you create and incentive for foreigners to enter the country illegally. Also, since birth and immigration records are going to be pretty much non-available it isn’t just 16YO kids and younger, it’s anyone who can claim to have come in at that age. you’re 25 and came in last week? Oh, you can claim to have been here for a decade and now you are a “dreamer”. Oh, and that 2007 cut off date for “dreamers”? That’s a BS date if ever there was one. LIke the debt ceiling it will be shifted every year to “legalize” more people.

    I posted a link to the WaPo a number of days ago on this issue. Dreamers are a drag on the economy.

    Compared with the general population, dreamers are not especially highly skilled. A recent survey for several pro-dreamer groups, with participants recruited by those groups, found that while most dreamers are not in school, the vast majority work. But their median hourly wage is only $15.34, meaning that many are competing with hard-pressed lower-skilled Americans.

    Plus, legal immigrants can bring in their families, so we would ot just be legalizing these young “dreamers” but their whole extended families. Why not just grant citizenship to the whole world? That is what you are really arguing for, dissolution of American sovereignty and hading over the governance of our nation to foreigners, who like the American left, want the destruction of our country.

    • WHO’S THE BUSTER

      “While they may have been brought into this country at a young age, at
      some point they become aware that they are here illegally and their
      decision to remain here and to do nothing to rectify the situation makes
      them culpable for their illegal status.”

      What mechanism was in place to “rectify the situation?” Let me guess, rectify means going back to a country they may not even remember.

      • jim_m

        So you are saying that they should take zero responsibility to protect themselves from negative consequences?

        • WHO’S THE BUSTER

          What steps should they take?

          • jim_m

            They should learn the language of their native country for one and be prepared to move back. Since they earn below average wages, they might consider whether or not they might have skills and knowledge that would enable them a higher standard of living back there.

            THey should review their options for becoming legal citizens and avail themselves of those.

            Right now your advice is for them to do nothing because you want to grant them full rights as natural born citizens. That is unacceptable.

      • Jwb10001

        When did it all these extra circular circumstances define what our laws are? We have immigration laws I seriously doubt that the law breakers unfamiliarity with their native country is singled out as an exception to enforcement.

        • In the eyes of the law ignorance of the law is no excuse, as our shyster should confirm.

  • Scalia

    I cannot think of any reason why DREAMers should not be on the receiving end of mercy. As Micah 6:8 of the Tanakh states, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

    Ah, but there is the rub. Way too many Americans are mercy-deficient, including those who claim to believe what the Tanakh says.

    There you go again, David—trying to establish a theocracy. You’re telling us that biblical doctrine is the basis for policy making. In other words, the biblical concept of mercy should compel us to change our immigration laws. Okay, then how about we let biblical morality direct our marriage laws?

    • WHO’S THE BUSTER

      I agree, religious doctrine should not inform any policy decisions.

      Math, science and history? Sure, but religious doctrine? No.

      • jim_m

        All morality is informed by religious doctrine. So you are saying that our laws should be explicitly amoral.

        Are you willing to say that laws against stealing, rape and murder should be eliminated because they are informed by religion? They are. You just said that we should not have such laws.

      • Scalia

        Your agreement is with David’s incoherent position on biblical morality, not with me. There is nothing unconstitutional about political decisions being informed by one’s religion. The only prohibitions relate to religious tests for office or the establishment of a federal church/religion.

        People bring all sorts of things to the ballot box or their respective seats in legislative chambers. To say that all cultures and beliefs are welcome except religion has no basis in constitutional law.

        • WHO’S THE BUSTER

          Merely stating my preference. GWB was open about the influence his faith had on his decisions. I am probably more in line with Trump on how much his policies are influenced by religion. He plays pretend enough to satisfy evangelicals, but I am under the impression that he is pragmatic about how he arrives at a position. In short, while I think he considers what impact a particular position may have on the religious electorate, I doubt it influences his decisions.

          You may have a different opinion, which I respect. I don’t remember making any comment about constitutional law so I have no comment on that statement.

          • Scalia

            In the context of the discussion, when you state, “…religious doctrine should not inform any policy decisions,” you align yourself with those who argue that against the legitimacy of the same.

            If you want to make yourself clear, you can say, “I prefer people to leave their religion at home when they cast ballots.” That’s a true statement of preference. To state that it should not be done invites the question: Why?

          • pennywit

            To state that it should not be done invites the question: Why?

            I’m wary that voters may use religious identity — rather than a candidates values and ideas — as a voting criterion.

          • “Religious identity?” The framing of the issue is the problem.

          • pennywit

            Identification as opposed to deeds.

          • You are framing the issue as identity politics, for which you should be flogged.

          • pennywit

            And so what if I am? It’s a pretty common phenomenon, actually — people voting for individuals who are like them. If a Christian looks at candidates and prioritizes voting for the Christian, he’s just as misguided as a black voter who tries to always vote for the black candidate, or the atheist voter who always looks for the atheist candidate.

          • Publicly.

          • Scalia

            But that runs across the spectrum. A segment of the population will always vote for the person of the same color, sex, religion, etc. I agree that that, in itself, should not be done, but there’s little we can do about it. People will do it regardless what we say. My only concern is with those who preach that values informed by religion have no place in politics.

          • pennywit

            People will do it regardless what we say. My only concern is with those who preach that values informed by religion have no place in politics.

            I don’t begrudge anybody finding guidance where they can find it.

          • jim_m

            People already do. But then most people vote for a party and not a candidate’s values and ideas, so what is it that offends you? Why it is religion and not how people choose to cast their vote.

          • Thank you for sharing.

  • There is no such thing as “de facto naturalization.” Persons who entered the United States illegally are and remain illegal alien nationals. Intent matters not a whit.

  • jim_m

    ” As President, Mr. Obama could decide what priorities that federal law officers would have.”

    So “as President” anyone holding that office could just do away with the Civil Rights Act. Or the Voting Rights Act, and from the implication of your article you are just fine with that. After all, “the President could decide what priorities federal law officers would have”.

    There is really nothing I could say that would be beyond the pale to describe how ignorant and anti-American and down right fascist this is. You basically said that the whole of the constitution is a matter of the whim of whoever sits in the Oval Office.

    There is no rule of law. There is no law at all according to you.

    And you support that wholeheartedly.

  • jim_m

    The humane thing to do would be to bar David from publicly humiliating himself any further.

    • So, your new avatar… Trying to get David to rise to the bait?

      • jim_m

        There is nothing inadvertent about it. I didn’t expect David to figure it out.

    • Brett Buck

      I think it is the humane thing for the rest of us, too.

  • Vagabond661

    “DREAMers are not criminals. Their plight is the result of someone else’s illegal behavior.”

    Someone = Obama.

    My proposal. The ones who are here who haven’t broken the law can stay BUT:

    1. They can’t vote. Ever.

    2. They are issued a Red Card. After 10 years if they kept their nose clean, they can apply for a green card.

    3. They must have a job. If they are attending college, they must pay their own way. No federal or state assistance.

    4 They can pay taxes. They can’t get on welfare.

    • jim_m

      Dreamers are not children. They can be as old as 36.

      • Vagabond661

        Exactly.

    • pennywit

      The ones who are here who haven’t broken the law

      I would prefer to cabin this to felonies, possibly serious misdemeanors. I don’t think a speeding infraction ought to result in deportation.

      • Many would prefer that all persons who entered the United States illegally be deported as the current Law requires.

        • pennywit

          You have the right to be offended.

          • I’m not offended, justice is. The end of that game lies with committees of public vigilance. Is that the end you seek? It is at the end of the path you recommend.

  • Wild_Willie

    So called dreamers can excel in high school, go to undergraduate college then further their education to become lawyers, etc. but they do not have the ability to report their status? That dog doesn’t hunt.

    • jim_m

      Average dreamer makes $15.34 an hour. Wish my divorce atty were that cheap.

  • pennywit

    Something needs to be done, yes. I wouldn’t oppose amnesty for the dreamers, or even for illegal immigrants currently in the United States as long as they have not been convicted of a felony. But I want the reform to come in a single package that overhauls the entire immigration system. I’d like to see:

    * Reduction in the use of H1-B visas and similar nonimmigrant labor visas to replace American workers. This includes cracking down on companies that run a pro forma advertisement for workers, then use that pro forma advertisement to say “American workers are not available for this job.”

    * Expedited path to naturalization and/or permanent residency (green card) for any immigrant who came to this country legally and has followed the rules.

    * Asylum-law amendments that add gender and sexual identity to “on account of” language (which currently includes race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

    • What say we start by enforcing the laws as written?

      • pennywit

        I offer policy prescriptions. You offer a catch phrase. Put some substance behind it.

        • Enforcing the laws as written is a policy. Sadly a novel one when it comes to immigration over the last few decades.

          • pennywit

            Enforcing the laws as written is a policy.

            Sorry, no. It’s a catchphrase. What laws, specifically, do you want enforced? If money needs to be appropriated for this enforcement, where will you find the money? What programs will you cut? If “[e]nforcing the laws as written” calls for large-scale deportation, how will you implement it? What priority will you place on various classes of immigrants?

            If you “enforce the laws as written,” will you continue to allow employers to engage in pro forma obedience to the letter of the law, when completely subverting the spirit?

          • Adding new laws where the current are not enforced is a policy only a lawyer (who stands therefor to benefit) would find reasonable.

          • pennywit

            Rodney, you’re dodging my questions.

          • No, I’m ignoring them.

          • jim_m

            It calls for deportation. Large scale may be difficult to manage, but if you start deporting people as you come across them, rather than ignoring their illegal actions, you could manage it.

            Ramping up deportations would also have a beneficial affect on the rate of illegal immigration. Already we have seen what is little more than tough talk on the subject cause a drop of up to 70%. Plus if you make it clear that you will deport them, many will do it themselves.

          • Scalia

            As Jim stated, what the president has done so far is already having its effect. Self-deportation costs us nothing. Moreover, removing the job magnet should also be top priority. A mandatory computerized employment verification system will send others packing. We could also create immigration enforcement agreements with relevant nations with various incentives for those who comply (e.g. expedite work permits and pathways to citizenship for those who comply). Congress also needs to immediately block federal funds to any sanctuary municipality. Regardless the noise they make, they’ll cry uncle when the money dries up.

          • Jwb10001

            We’ve got to get the chamber of commerce republicans on board they are just as bad as the liberals.

          • jim_m

            Forget it. If it is good for this country, John McCain will stand against it.

          • Sadly true. But true, nonetheless.