No DACA without immigration reform or border security
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Several moderate Republican U.S. House members are circulating a discharge petition to force a vote on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), declaring that they are only doing what President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE wants to do. The problem is that this is NOT what the president wants to do. He’s willing to agree to a DACA fix only IF there is also a deal to finally secure the border. This will only be accomplished if we end catch and release, end the diversity visa lottery program, stop sanctuary cities, implement e-verify, build a wall, and also hire more immigration judges, Border Patrol and ICE agents. In his State of the Union Address, the president set forth these pillars for immigration reform, including putting an end to the days of “chain migration” where one person can bring in an endless flow of family members, because he knows that policy really amounts to “open borders” by another name.

If 25 of our Republican House colleagues sign this discharge petition a vote will be forced, and with the support of all the House Democrats, DACA would be passed. This could lead to amnesty for as many as 3.5 million illegal immigrants with none of the above necessary actions to finally secure our border and fix our dangerous and broken immigration system. A DACA bill without border security would also hang out the welcome sign on the border for millions more to enter the U.S. illegally.

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Addressing DACA without real border security would only further alienate House Republicans from our base as well as the majority of Americans who want border security. The American people voted for a Republican majority to once and for all fix our broken immigration and refugee programs that overwhelm our schools, hospitals, prisons and law enforcement agencies, and put American citizens at risk of crime and terrorism. Illegal immigration already costs the taxpayers over $125 billion each year. Americans are sick and tired of it. They spoke loud and clear in the last election that they wanted an end to open borders, illegal immigration, and all the other abusive, liberal, out-of-control, and dangerous policies.

I agree that Congress must act, but a DACA fix can only be a part of an overall reform of the whole system. Many great bills to fix these problems have already been introduced and are languishing in committees unable to see the light of day to be voted on. For example, Rep. Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re prepared to testify Goodlatte: Administration undercut law, Congress by setting refugee cap Virginia reps urge Trump to declare federal emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence MORE’s (R-Va.) bill, Securing America’s Future Act, would address most of these problems and needs to be passed.

Because of a lack of action from Congress, President Trump has tried to fix many of these problems through executive order (EO), with mixed results. The liberal courts have tried to stymy many of these attempts, such as the President’s temporary restrictions on refugees coming in from several countries that are hotbeds for terrorism and for which we are unable to properly vet these refugees for terrorists. These EO’s are a godsend because in the absence of action from Congress, the EO’s are the only thing that would prevent harm to Americans by terrorists. However, as effective and beneficial as these EO’s are now, they can and will be reversed by the next Democrat administration.

It’s understandable why some Republican House members are pushing this discharge petition. Many represent marginal Republican districts and face tough reelections. To pass a DACA bill only, might help this small minority of moderate Republicans, but it would create a backlash of anger and resentment from the voters who entrusted us with the majority and elected a president who promised to uphold immigration law and secure our borders. The loss of these voters would likely lead to a loss of the House majority this November, disastrously resulting in a Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDemocrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act Internal RNC poll shows Pelosi is more popular than Trump: report MORE speakership, a resumption of open borders, mass immigration, and an abrupt end to border security initiatives. Not only that, but a Pelosi speakership would bring an abrupt end to Trump’s whole agenda, including the recent economic surge created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and regulatory rollback which Ms. Pelosi just promised to reverse.

The time for congressional action on the border is now. The American people demand it and know it’s the most serious threat to the dream of a bright future of prosperity, order, and security for America. We must not be distracted or sidetracked by an obscure parliamentary procedure in which two dozen Republicans align with and turn the House floor over to the Democrats. Addressing DACA while failing to secure our borders could destroy the best chance we have to preserve our country’s integrity. No other nation has done so much for the downtrodden, the persecuted, and the afflicted people of the world as America, but we can no longer take in such overwhelming numbers of other nations’ people and long survive. No nation can be sovereign without secure borders, an orderly immigration policy, and the rule of law.

Babin represents Texas’s 36th District.