What DACA proponents really want is open migration, not a tweak to the law

What DACA proponents really want is open migration, not a tweak to the law
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) press conference earlier this week was intended to be an immigration victory lap. Just a week prior, she and Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck Schumer84 mayors call for immigration to be included in reconciliation Senate infrastructure talks on shaky grounds Could Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? MORE (D-N.Y.) boasted that they had reached a deal with President Trump to pass the DREAM Act in exchange for undefined enforcement measures. The bill would enshrine into law Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, President Obama's plan for protecting the children of illegal aliens, in addition to granting legal status to several million more.

You would think so-called Dreamers would be celebrating, since the DREAM Act has been at the top of their wish list for a decade. Instead, they had a completely different — and totally unexpected — reaction. Video footage shows a group of about 30 young adults — self-proclaimed Dreamers — hijack Pelosi’s press conference.

Among their many brazen demands: amnesty for “all of us or none of us,” while holding signs that read “fight 4 all 11 million.” But there’s more. As if demanding amnesty for the entire illegal alien population — which presumably includes Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, the five-times deported illegal alien who killed Kate Steinle in San Francisco, not far from where this press conference was held — wasn’t enough, this group piled on with chants of “shut down ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement].”


As the protestors continued to shout down Pelosi, she can be heard on a hot mic telling a staffer standing behind her in a baffled voice, “They don’t want the DREAM Act.” Can you feel the sting from the proverbial bitten hand?


For decades, politicians such as Pelosi, Schumer, and authors of the current DREAM Act, Sens. Dick DurbinDick DurbinBiden officials pledge to confront cybersecurity challenges head-on Senators scramble to save infrastructure deal Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines MORE (D-Ill.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamEight Republicans join Democrats to confirm head of DOJ environmental division GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden DACA court ruling puts weight of immigration reform on Democrats MORE (R-S.C.) have orchestrated a brilliant marketing campaign painting a picture of Dreamers as a sympathetic group. You are undoubtedly familiar with the deceptive phrases they use ad nauseum: “brought here through no fault of their own;” “American in every way except on paper;” and “we can’t deport these children.” (The average beneficiary of DACA today is 25-years-old).

What they are demanding, in essence, is immigration anarchy.

If the Democrats are smart, they will quickly distance themselves from that extremism and finally come to the negotiating table with the president and congressional Republicans in good faith. They will drop any talk of the overly broad DREAM Act and focus on the limited DACA population.

For those new to this issue, this distinction matters. DACA recipients are a pre-defined group of illegal aliens that President Obama (unlawfully) shielded from deportation while endowing them with a host of benefits including the right to work in the U.S. Durbin and Graham’s DREAM Act is not so narrowly tailored. In addition to including the DACA population, the watered-down eligibility requirements cover at least 3.3 million illegal aliens, according to the liberal Migration Policy Institute. If DACA was good enough during Obama’s second term, it is outrageous for any politician to even float the idea of amnesty for a broader population of illegal aliens.

The Trump administration is expected to unveil its immigration principles soon. If the Democrats truly want to protect DACA, they will gladly accept any and all enforcement provisions, as well as any improvements in our legal immigration system, as a fair trade off. The American people haven’t forgotten the “one time” amnesty of 1986 where 3 million illegal aliens were immediately legalized and the promises for enforcement never materialized. President Trump, the master negotiator, should sense his advantage in these discussions and secure a huge enforcement package that the American people have been desperately seeking for over 30 years.

If we’ve learned nothing else this month, it’s that the groups demanding amnesty are not going to be happy with any deal. That applies to DACA and the DREAM Act, as well as any hybrid. The reason is that all of the plans fall short of the essentially open border those groups are seeking.

Robert Law is the director of government relations at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).