After years of debate with little to show for it, Congress has been unable to enact so-called “immigration reform” that was palatable to both Democrats and Republicans.
But President Donald J. Trump appears to have finally struck the right balance through Executive Branch policy, though it’s already being criticized by groups advocating a no-compromise immigration policy.
As reported by Breitbart News, Trump said in an interview with The Associated Press that so-called “Dreamers” – a euphemism for the young people who were brought to the U.S illegally by their parents as children – will not have to worry about his administration targeting them for deportation. Rather, he said, he would focus the government’s resources on identifying, arresting and removing criminal illegal aliens including repeat offenders and dangerous gang members like those who belong to MS-13. (RELATED: Illegal Immigration Isn’t Immigration At All… It’s An INVASION Of Criminals)
Illegal residents who are currently enrolled in former President Obama’s “Deferred Action for Children,” or DACA, program can now “rest easy,” said Trump, adding: “This is a case of the heart.”
As such, he has instructed federal immigration enforcement agencies to “not [go] after the ‘dreamers’” because “we are after the criminals,” he told the AP.
Trump, who called the DACA program unconstitutional during his campaign and pledged to end it on his first day, nonetheless vowed again to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, though he did not demand that initial funding for the project be put in spending legislation that must be passed by month’s end or parts of the government will have to shut down.
Democrats and some Republicans had vowed to oppose the funding, which would have led to a budget impasse for certain.
“I want the border wall. My base definitely wants the border wall,” Trump told the AP.
When asked whether he would sign a spending bill that did not include border wall funding, he replied, “I just don’t know yet.” Critics note that throughout the campaign he vowed that Mexico would pay for the wall.
As for his reversal on DACA, it was panned by immigration groups who want to see dramatic reductions in both legal and illegal immigration. One of them is Mark Krikorian, head of the Center for Immigration Studies, or CIS. He told Breitbart Radio that Trump’s reversal was colossal.
“During the campaign, now-President Trump had said he was going to end that on day one because it’s an unconstitutional action by the [previous] president,” Krikorian told Breitbart News Daily’s host on SiriusXM, Alex Marlow.
“And of course he’s right, it’s illegal,” he continued. “And they’ve done nothing to it. They’ve done absolutely nothing.”
Other critics note that under Obama’s DACA program, some 770,000 young people in the country illegally were allowed to find jobs inside the U.S., while millions of Americans remain unemployed. They argue that by continuing the policy, Trump undermines his “Buy American, Hire American” campaign slogan.
But by any measure, Trump’s overall immigration strategy appears to be working. As noted by The National Sentinel, his administration’s aggressive enforcement efforts have already lead to a 17-year-low in illegal border crossings, having reduced them by as much as 65 percent. Plus, the president plans to put additional resources on the border – the wall, more Border Patrol agents, and additional surveillance equipment – to keep illegal crossings (and illegal drugs and weapons smuggling) to a minimum. (RELATED: Trump administration ramping up crackdown on illegal immigrants, to include VISA overstays and criminals)
Also, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is preparing to take on “sanctuary cities” by depriving them of Justice Department grant funds if they are not in compliance with the legal conditions set forth in U.S. law in order to receive the grants. That includes assisting federal immigration authorities in identifying and removing those in the country illegally, beginning with the most dangerous.
As for the “Dreamers,” giving them an opportunity to make things right in the only country they know just makes sense policy-wise. They are no threat to the country’s security and are on track to contribute to society, not take from it.
Trump’s compromise sounds like a win-win for everybody, though obviously not everyone agrees.
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.