It may sound harsh but DACA recipients should not be given amnesty
Republicans and Democrats have been holding bipartisan talks to try to reach a compromise on proposed immigration reforms. On Friday The White House presented congress with a list of immigration proposals. Included in the suggestions put forward by the Trump administration was the building of the wall along the southern border, money to hire 10,000 additional immigration officers, tougher laws for those seeking asylum and denial of federal grants to Sanctuary cities. Many of these proposals will come as music to the ears of many Trump voters who heavily supported Trump’s policies of immigration reform. There is however one sticking point which is becoming a major issue of contention. That is the issue of DACA.
DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is the policy which allows illegal immigrants who have entered the country as minors to receive a renewable 2-year period of “deferred action” for deportation and be able to gain a work permit. Back in September 2017 the Trump administration rescinded the policy, but it is back on the table now in these bipartisan talks between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats want DACA recipients to be given amnesty as part of any immigration reform by the Republicans. It is thought that Donald Trump may be willing to do a deal of this nature if he gets his wishes in his proposed immigration reforms. This ongoing negotiation of DACA has become a major bone of contention for many Trump supporters as they wish to see DACA remain rescinded.
This is an incredibly difficult subject, many of the people who are recipients of DACA have been in the US for most of their lives. Roughly 800,000 people would be affected by no amnesty being reached and they could all potentially be deported from the country which many have called home for most of their lives. The emotional aspect involved in this case is one that I cannot overlook. The sad truth of this though is that DACA amnesty would bring with it its own perils.
If an amnesty was granted to the 800,000 people who are in the country already, the numbers of unaccompanied minors trying to enter the United States through its southern border would inevitably increase. This would be an invitation to those desperate to get into the United States to send children on the risky and perilous journey to the border, seriously jeopardizing the lives of thousands if not millions of children from Central and Southern America. Those making the trip into America usually encounter Mexican cartels and people smugglers, women have been subject to rapes and attacks and many unidentified illegal immigrants have been found dead in the deserts as they fall on the final hurdle into America. DACA would create conditions where children would be subject to this terrible fate. There are societal downsides to DACA also.
Since 2012, 2139 DACA recipients have lost their status due to criminal activity. Some DACA recipients have been guilty of some truly terrible crimes. In one case a man called Oliver Funes Machado, aged 18 beheaded his own mother in North Carolina. This number is comparatively small and does not reflect on the recipients of DACA as a whole, but when a nation is trying to fix problems with integration and criminality, adding more people into the mix doesn’t help solve that issue. We in Europe are seeing this first hand. It has also been found that DACA recipients lag behind when it comes to going to college compared to the rest of the population.
There is also the issue of the effect an amnesty would have on the voting base. According to the US Census Bureau, in 2013 it was estimated that there are roughly 54 million Hispanics living in the US. Many if not all of the DACA recipients are also of a Hispanic background. It is a well known fact that Hispanics widely vote Democrat. In the last election, Hillary Clinton won 66 percent of the Latino vote. In the previous electoral cycle, Barack Obama held a 71 percent share of the Latino vote and back in 2008 he gained 67 percent of the vote. DACA amnesty would be tantamount to handing the Democrats 800,000 new voters, not to mention the generational voting advantage they would gain as these DACA recipients go on to have families of their own who will more likely than not turn out to be Democrats. In an America where demographics are rapidly changing, the Democrats stand to gain an advantage over Republicans in future elections. The Republicans can ill-afford to hand another advantage in the form of DACA to the Dems.
Then there is arguably the most pertinent point as to why DACA recipients should not be given amnesty. That is the issue of the law. Many of these DACA recipients did not make the choice to come to the US. Many of them were children when they arrived meaning they did not have the consent needed to be held personally responsible for them being there. That said however, by virtue of the law they are still illegal immigrants. If a country is seen as allowing the flouting of laws on the books, that can descend into a slippery slope quickly. When does a DACA amnesty become an amnesty for all illegal immigrants? Barack Obama wanted to grant amnesty to all illegals, when the Democrats win another election, because they inevitably will at some point, will they then try to grant amnesty to the roughly 11 million people in the country illegally also? DACA would set a dangerous precedent in this regard, while this is a very emotive subject which nobody involved could honestly tackle without feeling any sympathy for these people, the reasons I have outlined in this article is why I believe DACA amnesty would be damaging to the GOP and America as a whole.
Picture from ardems.org