The United States should wel­come im­mi­grants, not de­port them

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“Il­le­gal” im­mi­grants are con­fined to in­su­lar life­styles, happy to pay their taxes al­though they rarely, if ever, ben­e­fit from govern­ment ser­vices. They pay into So­cial Se­cu­rity — from which they will never see re­turns. They live un­der the radar, care­ful to not draw at­ten­tion to them­selves, work­ing hard, some­times for lower pay than cit­i­zens and with no pro­tec­tions if some­thing goes wrong on the job.

Imag­ine hav­ing to then leave your min­i­mum-wage job be­cause your boss said there must be a mis­take be­cause your So­cial Se­cu­rity num­ber didn’t match your name.

I know it’s not our fault they came here il­le­gally. They shouldn’t have done it. Their par­ents shouldn’t have done it. Just as it is not their fault their fam­i­lies were op­pressed by dic­ta­tors or sand­wiched be­tween con­flict­ing sides of a civil war or born in pover­tys­tricken coun­tries.

The U.S. un­em­ploy­ment rate is at its low­est in a decade. If you’ve ever had a “dreamer” steal your job, it’s prob­a­bly be­cause he or she was smarter than you. If you ever had an un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grant steal your job, you prob­a­bly didn’t know it.

Imag­ine how much more un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants could con­trib­ute to our econ­omy if they were able to do the many things they can­not do by law to­day. We’ve seen it with the dream­ers. It has been proved. Pres­i­dent Trump said he would re­visit ter­mi­nat­ing the De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals pro­gram if Congress can’t pass a bill that sup­ports the dream­ers. The Dream Act is 16 years over­due, but so is a path to cit­i­zen­ship for the 11 mil­lion who have not qual­i­fied for DACA.

Com­pre­hen­sive and smart im­mi­gra­tion re­form would al­low un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants op­por­tu­ni­ties to truly con­trib­ute to the U.S. econ­omy and par­tic­i­pate in the many things Amer­i­can cit­i­zens take for granted.

Kara Meyer, New York

The Sept. 7 ed­i­to­rial “The un­jus­ti­fied DACA de­ci­sion” baldly as­serted that the pres­i­dent and the at­tor­ney gen­eral of­fer “mud­dled rea­son­ing” for the de­ci­sion to end the De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals pro­gram, but the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for it was quite clear.

The Im­mi­gra­tion and Na­tion­al­ity Act says that aliens who are in this coun­try il­le­gally (e.g., be­cause they en­tered the United States with­out doc­u­men­ta­tion or over­stayed their tem­po­rary visas) are sub­ject to de­por­ta­tion and pro­hib­ited from work­ing in the United States. DACA bars de­por­ta­tion of some of these im­mi­grants and per­mits them to work for two-year pe­ri­ods, re­new­able with­out limit. Even ac­cept­ing the du­bi­ous as­ser­tion that pros­e­cu­to­rial dis­cre­tion al­lows lim­it­less de­por­ta­tion de­fer­rals on a cat­e­gor­i­cal rather than in­di­vid­ual ba­sis, there is no cor­re­spond­ing prin­ci­ple per­mit­ting lim­it­less grants of work per­mits. DACA amounts to an amend­ment of an es­sen­tial part of the act. This is made plain by its his­tory; then-Pres­i­dent Barack Obama is­sued the DACA or­der af­ter Congress failed to agree to his pro­posed leg­is­la­tion amend­ing the act to mit­i­gate the con­se­quences to which im­mi­grants here il­le­gally are sub­ject. The Con­sti­tu­tion, how­ever, vests au­thor­ity to amend leg­is­la­tion solely in Congress and not the pres­i­dent. DACA thus con­sti­tutes the sort of rule by de­cree nor­mally prac­ticed only by dic­ta­tor­ships.

Congress has sim­i­larly failed to agree to Pres­i­dent Trump’s pro­posed leg­is­la­tion re­peal­ing and re­plac­ing Oba­macare. What would the re­ac­tion be if Mr. Trump re­sponded by is­su­ing an ex­ec­u­tive or­der bar­ring im­po­si­tion of the in­di­vid­ual and business man­dates for un­lim­ited re­new­able two-year pe­ri­ods?

Mar­shall Tamor Gold­ing, Ar­ling­ton

Mickey Kaus’s Sept. 13 op-ed, “Don’t buy all the PR about ‘dream­ers’ ” ad­mit­ted that “dream­ers” are an ap­peal­ing group of would-be cit­i­zens but wor­ried about the slip­pery-slope the­ory of leg­isla­tive pos­si­bil­i­ties. Ap­par­ently, Amer­i­cans should be fear­ful of whole vil­lages ap­pear­ing in their neigh­bor­hoods, un­less they are European, of course. Com­pro­mise on im­mi­gra­tion or de­port the dream­ers ap­peared to be Mr. Kaus’s only re­course.

Steve Har­ri­son, Adamstown, Md.

I call on Pres­i­dent Trump and Congress not to end Tem­po­rary Pro­tected Sta­tus [“‘How would I sur­vive go­ing back there?’,” Metro, Sept. 10]. TPS is a pro­vi­sion of fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion law that grants tem­po­rary clear­ance to work and shields from de­por­ta­tion thou­sands of im­mi­grants from Haiti, Hon­duras, Nicaragua and El Sal­vador. Any talk of end­ing TPS is rooted in the evil trin­ity of racism, clas­sism and sex­ism against peo­ple of color from for­eign na­tions. Im­mi­grants from Europe and Canada do not face this dou­ble stan­dard of im­mi­gra­tion dis­crim­i­na­tion be­ing pushed by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion. We must de­fend TPS — and de­fend the De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals pro­gram si­mul­ta­ne­ously.

Arthur L. Mackey Jr., New York

ROBYN BECK/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE VIA GETTY IM­AGES

Pro­test­ers show sup­port for De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals in Los An­ge­les on Sept. 10.

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