T Nation

The Dreamers, DACA and Immigration

A Jan 16 CBS News Survey found 87% of adults supported allowing “young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to remain in the country,” while 11% were opposed.

We’re talking about a relatively small number of people. About 800,000 Dreamers, most of them have already benefited from our public K-12 educational system, and are fluent in English.

Are the Dreamers a political tipping point for the GOP?

Do you see this a generational issue?

With overwhelming public support, why has this issue become such a sticking point, or is it just a sign of how dysfunctional our congress has become?

Stiffing Hispanic voters, or handing them over to the Democrats seems like a very poor long-term strategy for the GOP.

I would put it all on Trump. If he came out in support of letting them stay, the people who he hired to deal with immigration policy would stop being an obstacle. Trump just has some real scumbags and incompetents in his administration. This is the guy who allowed Omarosa to be part of his team so I don’t have much faith in his ability to choose the best people for the job.

In many cases, the DACA recipients themselves were too young to be considered culpable. However, many parents in similar situations today throughout the world would be happy to illegally immigrate if the long term was that their children would eventually get status in the US. Simply giving the current generation of DACA applicants status without other changes to the immigration system would lead to a need for DACA 2.0 in 20 years. The entire setup also effectively gives preferential treatment to lawbreakers and their children over those who are still waiting for a legal path to entry.

I can speak for myself that I am onboard with a path to status for DACA recipients, but it needs to be part of a larger immigration reform including better border security, stricter enforcement, more reasonable legal paths, and removing the economic incentives to hire illegal immigrants. I think that Trump and congressional Republicans are working towards this type of solution.


Trump has said as much as inelegantly as possible. No wall funding, no DACA deal.

@anon71262119 this could all lead to a good conversation about chain migration and overstaying VISAs.

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What happened to Mexico was going to be paying for the wall?

Also, if we wanted to deport someone who was brought here as a child and has now lived here for 20 years or so, what would happen if Mexico said they wouldn’t take him? If according to Mexico that person was an American?

I can’t see how Mexico would be able to refuse them. They have Mexican citizenship and, even assuming crime, Mexico and the USA have an extradition treaty.

That is the majority opinion. I’d could see a liberalised application process, a stay on deportation (with the added caveat that no “dreamers” get reckonable residency via the path they have taken) also being positively received.

The parents should get nothing, IMO. If the children are given leniency based on lack of fault (which is reasonable) then this logic falls apart if the parents are treated deferentially as well.

I can only speak from the UK perspective, but here I want every single illegal deported. If the home state wont take them then no further visas should be issued and their foreign aid should be cut to 0.

Cash incentives for self-deportation too. I am, however, a total border hawk over here, and the USA does have a different attitude about this, generally speaking.

It’s a pretty similar attitude really. The three big buckets of opinion:

Businesses want cheaper labor.

Law and order types get mad that people get to break laws without repercussions, and businesses get to break laws by hiring them and paying them under the table. If you don’t control who comes in then some of the illegals crossing the border are drug/human traffickers and other bad guys.

Progressives think that we should allow more people in (everyone is a refugee in some sense) and that any opposition comes from xenophobia and racism.


Pretty good summary.

I would just add, a lot of people simply don’t care.

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I see this whole thing as mis-reported, let’s say. DACA wasn’t just ended and that’s it. The executive did what should have been done in the first place, kick it to congress and make a law. You can rip up an EO, you cannot do that to a law.
That’s what the current immigration bill is hashing out right now and it’s due in early Feb. Add two weeks for fuck-ups and hopefully we’ll have a shiny new bi-partisan immigration bill. DACA doesn’t end 'til March. And the executive promised to extend the deadline if consensus isn’t reached.
Since it needs 60 votes to pass it will have to be bi-partisan and the DACA folks are in it and it’s non-negotiable if the bill is to pass at all.
So, I am not worried.
We’ll get part of a wall that Mexicans will just tunnel under and DACA reform, extra border security and immigration reform, too.


The legislative branch makes laws so…

I think the big issue for both parties is that their heartlands in the border states absolutely care. Neither side reflects the majority on this and both want to use it as a carrot and stick alternatively.

It’s rough for the voters (who get consistently ignored) and the illegals (who are in constant legal/political flux).

If Trump does get something close to what the majority want passed, I will be stunned.

EDIT: He says as a non-yank. Outside looking in.

Ireland have a constitutional amendment that ended Jus soli, so this situation has been dealt with there.


What if Mexico revoked their citizenship? We’re talking about people who possibly don’t even speak Spanish, or if they speak it don’t speak it well. They were educated (in theory) in American history, not Mexican. Where are they going to live and work in Mexico? Mexico has enough problems without having to reintegrate a bunch of “Americans”.

I guess they could refuse in the same way they aren’t paying for the wall.

Who signs them? Who is recognized as the leader of the nation? I wonder if the Trump administration being an obstacle is simply a way for him to get out of building the wall.

Of course, absolutely. I just wanted to add that a significant portion of the country just doesn’t care either way.

No wall is a non-starter as well. You can expect both to be in this bill, both not getting as much as they want. That’s why the dems added an extra 1M people for potential DACA protections and why there is a 25 B dollars for the wall. I would expect at this point the original 700,000 people getting their DACA and about 8 B approved for border dividers by the end of it.


Wanna try something fun? Sneak into Mexico illegally and get caught and see how they treat immigrants. Hint: Not Good.

What does that have to do with anything?

And do you mean how they treat illegal immigrants or immigrants? If I were an immigrant they would treat me well.

In which case Trump gets out of his promise to build a wall.