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Shutdown or DACA. Should we care?

January 17, 2018

First a little unfinished business.

If you ever wondered why confidence in the media has slipped, or why people sneer derisively when they say the words “main stream media” you had only to watch the White House press briefing session by the White House physician yesterday to understand why. There was precious little journalism being practiced in that room.

OK, enough said on that subject.

Moving forward, the main topic of conversation today is will they or won’t they pass ANOTHER continuing resolution to keep paying the government’s bills, or will we see another government shutdown over DACA and immigration?

More to the point, does it really matter?

There have been 18 shutdowns since 1990. That’s more than one every two years, although the last one was in 2013. We’ve all survived each one.

Shutdowns say more about the failure of government to function than they do about the issues that precipitate them.

Congress has had since at least June 15, 2012 to deal with DACA. In fact, President Obama correctly noted that his action creating DACA on that date was occasioned solely by the failure of Congress to address the issue.

When President Trump overturned Obama’s executive memorandum, the one that even #44 called illegal, he also added a finite grace period, giving Congress a full six months to codify the Dream Act.

Yet here we are, once again having to deal with the incompetency and ineffectiveness of the people we elected to serve us.

Once again we are treated to the spectacle of political blackmail in action.

DACA has nothing to do with the budget. It is not even allied to overall immigration reform and funding. It is far more closely aligned to sanctuary policy than it is to either of the foregoing.

They should be two separate discussions.

Americans as a whole have compassion for the spot the Dreamers are in, and thus over 70% support legitimizing DACA in law.

Being compassionate should not include being stupid. Even the more outspoken DACA supporters in the general public understand that this has to be a one-time thing. The more reserved supporters also fully understand that it also sends a signal to other countries that if dragging minors over the border worked this time, maybe it will work again.

Technically, every single Dreamer is legally deportable.  The fact that we may choose not to visit the sins of the fathers on the heads of their sons and daughters doesn’t change that.

Heartrending stories of young (and not-so-young) adults having to adjust to being deported to countries they know nothing about makes for sensational press but does nothing to change the law.

It is time to uncouple immigration policy reforms, including DACA, from the budget and spending process. The two are not mutually inclusive.

If your senator or representative fails to make that distinction, why would you vote for that person again?

From → op-ed

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