Dreamers: Worthy of special treatment?
Democrats are trying to pull a fast one on DACA, said Ford O’Connell in TheHill.com. The Obama-era program, which exempts from deportation 700,000 people who were illegally brought into the U.S. as children, is at the center of the government shutdown debate. To drum up sympathy, Democrats portray these mostly Mexican “Dreamers” as blameless “kids”—but they actually have an average age of 24. Less than 5 percent have graduated from college; few have tried to become citizens; and a paltry 0.1 percent serve in the military. Why should these people be “placed in line ahead of other applicants”? Democrats want “amnesty” for the Dreamers because they know they’ll be guaranteed Democratic voters if granted citizenship, said Jeremy Carl in NationalReview.com. If you want to see what a “post-DACA America” would look like, come to my home state of California, where Republicans are a powerless minority, government handouts are rampant, and taxes are sky-high.
The portrayal of Dreamers as low-skilled losers is typical nativist propaganda, said Gary Shapiro in CNN.com. In reality, 91 percent are employed and 75 percent of America’s biggest companies have a DACA recipient working for them. Deporting these productive young people would be heartless—and would damage our economy. Sadly, though, Dreamers have become hostages in the battle to build Trump’s wall, said Mike Lupica in the New York Daily News. Most Dreamers were brought across the border at such a young age that America is the only country “they have ever known.” To kick out hundreds of thousands of striving immigrants, or to keep them in a state of perpetual fear, is simply inhumane.
What’s truly stunning, said Greg Sargent in WashingtonPost.com, is how much the GOP’s rhetoric on DACA has changed. President Trump used to call Dreamers “these incredible kids” who had done nothing wrong and made “positive contributions to American life.” But during the shutdown fight, Republicans accused Democrats of protecting “illegal immigrants”—essentially lumping in Dreamers with other “lawbreakers.” So which is it? Was this harsher language just a negotiating tactic to extract concessions from Democrats? Or do Republicans, who have shifted to the right on immigration in recent years, now genuinely see Dreamers as “just another species of criminal alien”? The negotiations over DACA in the coming weeks should provide an answer.