Is there more than meets the eye on DACA?

The News (New Glasgow) - - OPINION -

An ed­i­to­rial from the Hamilton Spec­ta­tor, pub­lished Sept. 7: .S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is be­ing widely thrashed for his de­ci­sion to end the pro­gram that al­lows 800,000 peo­ple brought to the U.S. as chil­dren to stay in the coun­try. The anger is un­der­stand­able.

These are peo­ple who have done noth­ing wrong. They ar­rived on U.S. soil with par­ents or rel­a­tives. They had no choice. They went to school and many went on to post-sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion. Many have good jobs. They are con­tribut­ing Amer­i­cans. So why kick them out?

That may be what’s hap­pen­ing here. If so, Trump de­serves the con­dem­na­tion. But there may be more to this.

The De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals pro­gram was an Obama-era ex­ec­u­tive or­der put in place when the U.S. Congress couldn’t come to a res­o­lu­tion on the is­sue. Crit­ics charged it was un­con­sti­tu­tional. Sup­port­ers said the ends jus­ti­fied the means. Given that the al­ter­na­tive was on­go­ing in­sta­bil­ity and un­cer­tainty for in­no­cent vic­tims, the lat­ter would be our view. But given that Trump ran on a plat­form that in­cluded lower im­mi­gra­tion lev­els, it isn’t sur­pris­ing that he tar­geted DACA. And it’s not clear his goal is ac­tu­ally to see so-called Dream­ers de­ported.

Trump has ex­pressed his af­fec­tion for DACA par­tic­i­pants. But he re­mains con­vinced the ex­ec­u­tive or­der was bad pol­icy. By end­ing DACA he put a res­o­lu­tion in the hands of Congress, giv­ing them six months to reach con­sen­sus. Given their re­cent his­tory, par­tic­u­larly on the deeply di­vided Repub­li­can side, that seems un­likely. But Trump has said, via Twit­ter, that he would re­visit the mat­ter if Congress can­not find a so­lu­tion.

He should. Step­ping in if Congress fails would give Trump a pub­lic re­la­tions win, and it’s the right thing to do. There is no good rea­son for Dream­ers to be evicted from their adopted home­land. They are pre­cisely the kind of im­mi­grants the U.S. should wel­come. And so, for that mat­ter, should Canada.

Toronto-area Senator Ratna Omid­var wants Canada to wel­come 30,000 to 40,000. She says: “They speak flu­ent English, they’ve been ed­u­cated in the U.S., most of them have been to col­lege or uni­ver­sity, some of them have work ex­pe­ri­ence. They un­der­stand the North Amer­i­can work­ing cul­ture.”

It’s a good point. There may be a time for Canada to reach out in some way, but not yet. Dream­ers don’t face im­me­di­ate de­por­ta­tion. There isn’t yet a need to poke an­other stick at Trump, es­pe­cially dur­ing NAFTA ne­go­ti­a­tions. For now, let this play out. Dream­ers can ap­ply to come to Canada through reg­u­lar chan­nels if they want to, and no doubt they would be wel­come. But for now, let Congress do its job, and give Trump a chance to do the right thing in the end. That would be a pleas­ant and wel­come sur­prise.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.