Congress is like the long-suffering roommate who has to clean up after a party animal trashes the place.
President Donald Trump campaigned against immigrants in a presidential campaign with a xenophobic theme and lots of rhetoric about walls, and he blasted President Obama – whose own birthplace Trump also questioned – for what he seemed to characterize as bleeding-heart immigration policies. He loved the cheers, even if some of them seem motivated by racial prejudice and outright anger.
So Trump plans to end the DACA program, an enlightened policy that installs legal protection for the children of immigrants brought here illegally by their parents – through no choice of theirs – allowing them to stay in the country to work after they turn 18.
The problem is, while Trump cares most about fulfilling his bombastic bellowing on the campaign circuit, members of Congress in both parties recognize that DACA is a good and sensible thing. Many of those protected by it are contributing to the American economy, and working toward improving their lives and prospects through education that will help them improve the countries from which they came or the United States, where they now live and where many would like to stay.
There is simply little harm in allowing some young people to remain in the U.S. while they pursue education or work, obey laws, and make positive contributions to this country and to their families.
Even some Republicans – many of whom feared Trump’s huffing and puffing as based mostly in emotion – acknowledge that DACA is a good program, and that delaying a “solution,” meaning a cleanup of what Trump is doing, is downright cruel to those who are working in the United States under DACA.
For these are people, once and for all, who did not make the choice themselves to cross the border to the United States illegally. If they have been working and following the law why should they be forced out of a place that is all many of them have ever known since early childhood?
Because of the delay on finding a solution to Trump’s plan, hundreds of thousands of people will lose protections extended to them under DACA at year’s end. And it appears, sadly, that such will happen because Congress is not slated to take up the issue until its return from a holiday break.
Every day of delay, reported the McClatchy Newspapers Washington bureau, means 120 people lose permits to allow them to stay in the country. That’s going to create unbelievable headaches for immigration officials if Congress eventually figures something out and those who have lose permits have to get them restored.
Meanwhile, word is buzzing that the party animal now plans another health-care throw down. Imagine the mess that will leave behind.