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Can DACA-eligibles still blow it?

January 24, 2018

Although Congress still has to pass an actual budget before, or concurrent with, taking up DACA and immigration reform, it looks like they will get there eventually.

Assuming Democrats learned their lesson on employing a shutdown as a tactic, that means the DACA folks may have a very few weeks to wait before finally getting out of the hole that former President Obama left them in when he was too lazy to demand Congressional action to back up his executive actions.

DACA is already on shaky ground thanks to Chuckles Schumer’s all-partisan all-the-time pronouncements threatening the President’s insistence on funding for the wall.

It would behoove DACA-eligibles to act like responsible American citizens in those few weeks so as to not make things worse.

Some of their activists are vowing to employ civil disobedience and even violent demonstrations as bargaining tactics.

Bad idea. Peaceful demonstrations are one thing, trespassing is quite another.

Right now, the American public is making a clear distinction between MS-13-type illegal immigrants and the DACA “kids.”  Three quarters of all Americans polled are on their side, even as they scorn sanctuary cities and states for actively protecting criminal illegals.

That selective tolerance could end very quickly if the DACA group begins to act like the illegal immigrants who baldly state that they are sorry they didn’t kill more cops.

There is a tendency to lump the so-called 2001 DREAM Act (which was never actually a law), in with DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which was a policy enacted via presidential memorandum in 2012 by the Obama administration. The two are separate and not equal.

To make it simpler, today the DREAM Act as it is being discussed today is encompassed within the overhaul of the country’s total immigration policies, while DACA is being handled as a special exception to both current and future immigration policy.

At various times, it has been hypothesized that only about one-quarter to one-half of the DACA population ever registered to be included in that special subset. That’s why you hear that there are up to three and-a-half million DACA-eligibles out there, and that excludes their parents.

While a majority of Americans are sympathetic to DACA, they are not on board with instant citizenship or wholesale immigration. At best they support an expedited citizenship pathway that leaves the DACA population protected by a green card for a finite period of time, varying from three to five years.

Proponents of that strategy point out that most of the requirements for naturalization should have already been achieved by DACA-eligibles. They should already be fluent in English, and be either in school, in the military or gainfully employed, just as are the majority of their native-born counterparts.

None of that matters if the DACA-eligibles blow the public relations piece of this puzzle. Optics are everything now.

If you get away from the Beltway, K Street, Times Square or the Coit Tower, what you hear is “If you want to be a citizen, don’t act like a thug.”

The first footage of an overturned cop car, the first business broken into and trashed, the first blocked streets and all the good will leak away, even if the vast majority of DACA-eligibles don’t participate or condone those tactics. And we won’t even speak about the optics of blockading Disneyland.

This is a time to be smart, and that isn’t very smart.

From → op-ed

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