DACA: The Civil Rights Issue of All Time

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 September 15, 2017|
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For Democrats, President Trump’s proposal to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is the civil rights issue of our time. No exaggeration. Just read  Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who posted a blistering partisan attack on Facebook:

The emotional and economic toll of President Trump’s cruel immigration policies was plain to see, as DREAMers and their loved ones came forward to share powerful accounts of the chaos that has gripped their families thanks to this administration’s callous actions.

One hardly wonders if there is more to Blumenthal’s interest in “Dreamers” than civil rights. Latino votes are essential to the Democrats’ success in Connecticut, reliably delivering big margins in places like Bridgeport and New Haven. Adding “Dreamers” to voter rolls may just save Connecticut Democrats from a “woke” electorate that realizes it is being done in by a financial crisis of the Democrats’ making.

Connecticut is in a race with Illinois to fiscal insolvency, with deficits exploding, pensions upside-down, taxes climbing, flagship corporate residents fleeing, and the city of Hartford on the verge of filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. Visiting New Haven earlier this week, Blumenthal had no word on federal legislation he’s sponsoring that might arrest Connecticut’s rapid decline. Instead, he’s pandering to illegal immigrants.

Yet in a larger sense, DACA is the most important civil rights issue of all time. The right of a people to govern themselves is no modern problem. The political story of ancient Israel can be said to turn on two events: exodus, the geographical escape from bondage, and kings, a return to bondage of a different sort.

Recall the lines from 1 Samuel 8: “Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”

God warns the Israelites of the future abuses of monarchical power. But the people of Israel insist. There are ups (David and Solomon) and downs (Ahab and Jezebel), but the story is mostly an unhappy one, as God foretold.

Congress, too, has wanted a king. Even before Trump’s election, Congress has not been willing to bear the full burden of its offices. It’s fair to say Congress has made a habit of not legislating. Most of its major accomplishments—the Affordable Care Act, for example, or the Dodd-Frank banking “reform” law—are not sound legislation at all, but delegations of broad power to the executive. Moreover, they were spearheaded and driven by the executive branch. Lawmakers don’t make laws, but rather fashion new customs more suited to the rule of a distant, unwieldy administrative state.

While there should be—there will be—a fight over The Wall, a promise the president must dare not break—Trump supporters should not lose sight of the central issue in ending DACA: the right of people to govern themselves, to have their laws made by a representative legislature, and by no one else.

Under DACA, immigrants who were not lawfully in the United States before this executive order became de facto lawful by virtue of this decree from on high which declared that the executive would not enforce the law.  

DACA provides that certain applicants, who under the law are subject to deportation but who can prove (1) they were brought to the United States before they were 16, (2) have lived there continuously since June 15, 2007, and (3) are enrolled in high school or college or serve in the military, would be issued identification permitting them to remain and work in the United States for up to two years (renewable thereafter for additional two-year periods). President Obama based his authority to issue the DACA executive order on the limited resources of his office to enforce deportations, thus prioritizing such deportations last (i.e., deferred).

The transparent object of DACA, however, is to create a legal status for a class of immigrants that Congress has unambiguously said are not lawfully in the United States.

Every day that DACA continues to exist hardens the usurpation by the executive of the powers delegated to Congress by the Constitution. It matters not that Congress is a willing partner in this usurpation. They haven’t the authority under law to shrug their lawmaking power or responsibility in this way. Article I of the Constitution states unequivocally: “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.” DACA deprives each citizen of the United States of the civil right to have their laws made by the representatives they elect to Congress, on a matter of fundamental importance: who can be a resident of the United States.

One does not get to the question of whether the law can be better until one first gets to the question of who makes the law. DACA obscures this preeminent question that defines who we are. DACA is an extraordinarily cruel deception that baits the American people to depart from their most important ethos.

Once Trump announced the end to DACA in six months, the only fair-minded question was: Can we do it sooner? Trump intends that a Democratic coalition in Congress will send him legislation either affirming DACA or some variation thereof as law. If not, DACA simply will end. But when one or the other happens, Trump will have partly rehabilitated Congress to its Article I responsibilities—the question of what happens to so-called “Dreamers” being a secondary and political one.

As for The Wall, the Republican establishment, not Trump, should be the object of contempt. Republican establishment figures in and outside of Congress spurned their elected leader, and now find themselves in the de facto minority party because the President is insistent on, of all things, governing. That means working with the party that can, in fact, form a majority. This is part of what I warned about when I wrote in June that “The waters and the Egyptians will not wait forever.” Trump is rushing into the parted waters, taking whoever will follow him. The GOP still has the opportunity to play the central role in this drama, to form a functioning majority, and to give their constituents the Wall they have called upon them to provide. Or they can stand there, mouths agape, while opportunities like a Republican majority in Connecticut slip away.

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About the Author:

Jay Whig
J. Whig is an attorney practicing in New York and a resident of Connecticut specializing in insolvency and restructuring. Opinions are his own.
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11 Comments

  1. hamburgertoday2017 September 16, 2017 at 6:22 am

    Immigration law has been avoided for a reason: The Donor class — and thus both Parties — have alot to lose. Immigration — both legal and illegal — have been used by US businesses (in conjunction with offshoring) to suppress wages for US workers. US business have become addicted to profits derived from wage suppression. Based upon what I see, without offshoring and wage suppression, much of American businesses do not know how to actually generate an ‘acceptable’ level of profit. It’s much less risky to generate profit from wage suppression than it is from actually developing and promoting new products, it’s also less complicated than innovating production processes.

    • NutherGuy September 17, 2017 at 2:08 am

      Yep. Squeeze the worker any way you can is a linear strategy — just go straight ahead from where you are. Innovation is disruptive and hard as hell: You can easily fail as America’s ‘general stores’ were taught by Sears Roebuck, Sears was taught by malls, both Sears AND malls were taught by Wal-Mart, and now in turn Wal-Mart is being schooled by Amazon.

      Offshoring is unfortunately a perfectly rational method of cost control when successive anti-business U.S. and state governments see business as a cash and power cow.

  2. R.L. September 16, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Civil rights my behind. Their parents broke the law and brought them here illegally. As such they are here illegally. They deserve no consideration other than a swift boot to the back side as they depart our country. The children of bank robbers do not get to keep the money . Illegal alien children do not get to stay here.

    • Andy September 16, 2017 at 9:35 am

      You put the compassion in compassionate conservative.

      • NutherGuy September 17, 2017 at 2:04 am

        You bet we do. Conservatives are compassionate about people who obey the law, do the job, and earn the money when moochers try to take it away.

        BLM? You BET they do: The lives of honest and struggling black Americans come first and always ahead of people of any color, race, whatever, who want to steal, insult, or attack their way in front of those playing by the rules.

        Sure we should think about the needs of those who didn’t manage to play by the laws — but not by taking away from those who did.

        Send ’em all home. Now.

      • R.L. September 17, 2017 at 8:51 am

        And frankley I do not give a damn what people like you think. These maggots are invading our country waving their flags and denouncing our government. Meanwhile we have liberals allowing them to vote which negates our own citizens, vote and you are all for it. Go take a hike.

  3. Elric September 16, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Illegal aliens have no rights in the U.S. other than the right to leave – as expeditiously as possible.

    • NutherGuy September 17, 2017 at 2:00 am

      Exactly the same principle as not letting the children of bank robbers keep the loot just because they’ve never been poor and it would be unfair to them to be poor now: Fairness to OTHER PEOPLE to whom that ‘loot’ belongs and who did NOT start by breaking the law comes first.

  4. BanBait September 16, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    There are a whole bunch of GOPe politicians that need to be primaried.

    • NutherGuy September 17, 2017 at 1:58 am

      I believe that close to 100% of Congress has been compromised. They are blackmailed, bribed, or otherwise owned by the hard left. “Nice little career you’ve got here … shame to see anything happen to it …”

      Think back on all the breaches of basic communications security and legislative good practice — illegal ‘black’ programs on which Congressional leaders were briefed are examples — since the late Bush years. Tell me who in Congress is even ‘probably’ clean or even ‘probably not quite squeaky’ but nobody knows. Why do we have the mess we have at the top of Justice and the FBI? Why no serious investigations of ANY SERIOUS CRIME in ten years? Why House hearings on Obama’s offenses that concluded with “no impeachable offenses have been committed”? Why do we have felons either enjoying cushy retirement or still in senior jobs?

      We cannot get out of this spot with these people. Whatever Ryan, McConnell, Goodlatte, Rubio, Cruz, and the rest of what passes for the top in Congress may once have been or intended they are enemy agents now and the only solution is for them to GO.

      Primaried if possible, but gone: Yes, vote for a Democrat newcomer when a priority UNhire wins your primary. He can do much less damage as the nominally opposition party than Paul Ryan is doing daily as the leader of OUR party in the House.

  5. msher_1 September 17, 2017 at 5:06 am

    Re GOP: Among Trump’s accomplishments is exposing the GOP as absolute frauds. Ryan’s perfidy has been there to see since the last Obama budget. But now it is impossible for anyone to miss this and the entire GOPe’s membership in the progressive, open borders, globalist administrative state Uniparty. What do Republicans stand for? We now know – same as Dems. with possible exception of making some noise on national debt. GOP has been a lying charade and we have been dupes. Congress will not act – except possibly to thwart Trump or pass things acceptable to Dems.

    Re DACA: I believe there is no political will to deport non-criminal illegals, nor is it logistically feasible. Finding them, separating families, holding them, transporting them and then to where. Not feasible for tens of millions. Think of outcry over single boy, Elian Gonzales. Multiply by millions. My question: why does “amnesty” or “legalization” necessarily mean either benefits, and most important, path to citizenship? Everyone assumes path to citizenship. In debates, Rubio asked incredulously, “You mean no path to citizenship?” Well yes. That would seem to me rather obvious and certainly appropriate. Yet no one is raising this. “Legalization” always assumes path to citizenship.

    I would get wall, good border security, end anchor baby status, end family reunification, end right to benefits, and grant limited legalization with no right to citizenship and dependent on no criminal record and tax compliance. Of course foregoing joke as cities and states decide to not report crimes to ICE and grant benefits themselves. E.g., broke Calif grants full MediCal benefits to illegals.

Comments are closed.