Politics & Policy

A Garbage Deal on DACA

Sen. Dick Durbin and President Trump at a bipartisan meeting on immigration at the White House, January 9, 2018. (Reuters photo: Jonathan Ernst)
Say no to the Gang of Six.

What is it about gangs and immigration? The so-called Gang of Six came up with a proposed “deal” on DACA that is worthy of the late, unlamented Gang of Eight’s version of “comprehensive” immigration reform. It deserves to be thrown into the nearest circular filing cabinet, and opposition from the White House thankfully ensures that it will be.

It proposes giving a full amnesty not just to the relatively narrow category of DACA recipients (roughly 700,000 people) but to the broader population of so-called DREAMers, possibly covering a couple of million people. On top of this, it would give a version of amnesty to the parents of the DREAMers. This would make a travesty of the original rationale for the DREAM Act. It was supposed to cover illegal immigrants brought here at a young age through no fault of their own; now we are talking about an amnesty for the adults who knowingly defied our laws.

The proposed deal’s changes in chain migration are minor and affect only the population getting the amnesty. The visa lottery would simply be transferred over to cover beneficiaries of so-called Temporary Protected Status, who were allowed to stay here temporarily when their home countries were hit by natural disasters. This proposed provision honors the Washington establishment’s cardinal rule on immigration — never permit a diminution, no matter how small, in the number of legal immigrants coming here. Meanwhile, the spending on border security would be a relative pittance.

This is a terrible deal. We would be happy with a straight-up trade of a DACA amnesty, even one broadly defined, for a mandatory E-Verify system for employers making new hires, one that would help dry up the jobs magnet for illegal immigrants. But that’s apparently not in the offing, nor, to judge from this afternoon’s proposal, is any deal worth supporting.

READ MORE:

The GOP Must Win a Better Deal on DACA

A Ludicrous Ruling That Trump Can’t End DACA

Prospects for an Amnesty Deal Are Fading

The Editors comprise the senior editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

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