Clear­ing up DACA mis­con­cep­tions

Ripon Bulletin - - Opinion -

Ed­i­tor, Man­teca Bul­letin, There seems to be a mis­con­cep­tion of what DACA is sup­posed to be, at least there is one per­son who seems to be con­fused (Let­ter: “Democrats change tune on bor­der”, Jan. 29 by Frank Aquila).

Ei­ther Aquila has no idea what the DACA pro­gram is all about or he is de­lib­er­ately try­ing to con­fuse the is­sue. I would have to as­sume both since he doesn’t even bother to men­tion DACA, which is the cen­tral is­sue of the Demo­cratic stance on im­mi­gra­tion ob­sta­cles which need to be ad­dressed by Congress prior to March 5. In­stead he goes off on im­mi­gra­tion is­sues which are pretty much agreed on by both par­ties ex­cept for the lu­di­crous gi­ant wall that, ac­cord­ing to Trump, Mex­ico is go­ing to pay for.

Aquila must un­der­stand there is a con­sen­sus on all these other Im­mi­gra­tion is­sues since he even went so far as to quote ev­ery Demo­cratic leader he could re­mem­ber agree­ing on them all. The nar­ra­tive he is try­ing to push is that “all” Democrats are in fa­vor of il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion. This is, of course an ab­surd ar­gu­ment with no ba­sis in fact. Here are the facts: 1. How did that March 5 date come to be? Pres­i­dent Obama ap­proved the pro­gram in 2012 af­ter un­suc­cess­ful ef­forts in Congress to pass a mea­sure that would al­low chil­dren of un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants brought into the coun­try il­le­gally to avoid de­por­ta­tion. Trump then re­scinded the pro­gram giv­ing Congress un­til March 5 to come up with a bi­par­ti­san so­lu­tion.

2. Just be­fore the shut­down, Sen. Durbin (D) and Sen Gra­ham (R) met with Trump and pre­sented him with their bi­par­ti­san agree­ment. Trump first ac­cepted it, then the fol­low­ing day tweeted against it. This was just days af­ter Trump met with Con­gres­sional lead­ers and pub­licly an­nounced to ev­ery­one in the room, in­clud­ing the press that he would sign “any” bill Congress sent him. Then came the DACA shut­down which the Democrats caved on af­ter get­ting a con­ces­sion on the pro­posal Repub­li­cans of­fered to fund for six months a pop­u­lar child health care pro­gram and a prom­ises from Mitch McCon­nell to bring up a clean DACA bill next. (A lie, of course).

3. So con­trary to Aquila’s claim, the shut­down wasn’t about il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion but on a so­lu­tion to the DACA is­sue. So who are these DACA re­cip­i­ents and how did they qual­ify to be in the DACA pro­gram? DACA re­cip­i­ents are chil­dren brought over the bor­der by their par­ents and have been liv­ing here for years, now serv­ing in the mil­i­tary, go­ing to college or college grads work­ing jobs, pay­ing taxes some with chil­dren of their own. (Did you know who was the first sol­dier killed in Iraq? Look it up, it may sur­prise you).

4. So how did DACA re­cip­i­ents qual­ify to be in the pro­gram? Well here are the rules:

►Were un­der the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;

►Came to the United States be­fore reach­ing your 16th birthday;

►Have con­tin­u­ously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;

►Were phys­i­cally present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of mak­ing your re­quest for con­sid­er­a­tion of de­ferred ac­tion with USCIS;

►Had no law­ful sta­tus on June 15, 2012;

►Are cur­rently in school, have grad­u­ated or ob­tained a cer­tifi­cate of com­ple­tion from high school, have ob­tained a gen­eral ed­u­ca­tion devel­op­ment (GED) cer­tifi­cate, or are an hon­or­ably dis­charged vet­eran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and

►Have not been con­victed of a felony, sig­nif­i­cant mis­de­meanor, or three or more other mis­de­meanors, and do not oth­er­wise pose a threat to na­tional se­cu­rity or pub­lic safety

So those are the facts, Pres­i­dent Obama said it best: “It’s a po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion, and a moral ques­tion,” “What­ever con­cerns or com­plaints Amer­i­cans may have about im­mi­gra­tion in gen­eral, we shouldn’t threaten the fu­ture of this group of young peo­ple who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not tak­ing away any­thing from the rest of us.”

Larry Baca Man­teca

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