President Trump vowed during his campaign to end Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program granting amnesty to nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants. He needs to stand by that promise if he wants to avoid serious backlash from his base.
DACA is a two-year renewable program that allows illegal immigrants who are willing to claim they are under 35 and that they came to the U.S. illegally, as children, to avoid deportation, and to receive work permits in the United States. The program today is rife with illegal immigrants who used forged documents and deception to misrepresent their age and arrival dates.
Time and again, the American public has risen up to stop Congress from passing amnesty legislation. Polling conducted by Paragon Insights found that as of January 2015, 58 percent of registered voters opposed Obama’s executive actions, compared to only 36 percent who supported them.
The program is also a clear violation of the Constitution. It was created, out of thin air, by memos that Obama sent to federal regulatory agencies. It had no legislative support from Congress, and it violates immigration laws already on the books. That includes Title 8 of the U.S. Code, which makes it an offense for any person to “encourages or induce” an alien to “come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that [entry] is or will be in violation of law.”
The program is clearly "encouraging" large numbers of illegals to enter and reside in the United States, and many are going on to commit additional crimes. Just in the last month, a DACA Amnesty illegal with a work authorization and a job was charged with decapitating his mother in Zebulon, North Carolina before throwing her head into the yard, where it was seen by a school bus full of kids. In Rockville Maryland, two recent "childhood arrivals" that were 17 and 18-years-old have been charged with raping a 14-year-old in a high school bathroom.
The moral of the story: America needs to turn off all government benefits, sanctuary policies, amnesty orders, and discussions of immigration reform legislation. It only attracts and encourages more illegal immigration.
Most importantly, DACA rules are a departure from normal law and constitutional governance in the United States. In essence, they nullify the outcomes of all prior elections and congressionally approved legislation and laws. Each day that it remains in effect is a day that American citizens are being deprived of a constitutionally governed nation. Each day that Trump refuses to honor his campaign promise to end DACA amnesty – which he said was to come on his first day in office –the program begins to look more like "Trump's Amnesty" instead of Obama's.
If Trump does not honor his campaign pledge on his most signature issue, it will undermine his core voters’ trust in him on other issues as well. The last president to make that mistake was President George W. Bush. His approval rating fell to less than 20 percent before he left office, easily making him the most unpopular president in modern American history.
Instead of going down that road, Trump should hand the list of illegal aliens shielded by DACA over to the Department of Homeland Security. And he should order the department to use the information our to apply our existing immigration laws, as he promised on the campaign trail.
Each day that Trump keeps the program alive sends a welcoming message to illegals, while signaling to the law enforcement community that our federal government will continue to engage in selective enforcement of the law. That message isn’t the one that got Trump elected, and it’s one he surely doesn’t want to send. He should fulfill his promise to end DACA amnesty immediately.
William Gheen is the president of the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, a conservative immigration group representing more than 50,000 members.
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