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Defining Who Is a DACA Dreamer

US Border Enforcement

One of the problems that Congress is going to have with DACA is that it covers too general a population. I don’t think you should group a 17-year-old who came here when he was six months old with a 17-year-old who came here six months ago.

The first has never known anything other than America. He grew up as an American and attended American schools. He speaks the language and he considers himself to be an American in every way.

The second example is a 17-year-old who came here six months ago and was not raised in our culture. He may not speak our language and he definitely did not attend our schools as he grew up. He did not have our healthcare and did not get the immunization shots that keep America largely free of the many diseases that plague other parts of the world. He may love our country just as much as the person in the first example but the fact is he was not raised as an American.

I don’t think many people feel comfortable cheering on the forced expulsion of an 17-year-old Mexican American that came here when he or she was two years old, speaks English and may not even speak Spanish. They were raised American, think of themselves as American, are loyal to America and in many cases didn’t even know they were not legal Americans until their parents told them in their teen years. You might want to check yourself for a heartbeat if you are OK with sending such a person away from America.

There has to be a legitimate cut off point that defines who will fall into the Dreamer category and who won’t. Congress won’t approve a bill that doesn’t do so. And not making it so that a sufficient time being raised in the US is a requirement would encourage a new wave of youth immigration that would seek similar status. This is also a key reason why any DACA agreement must include financing a border wall.

Another key difficulty in identifying who is a Dreamer is providing valid proof. To say that any authorization of the dreamers would be very open to fraud would be a vast understatement. How exactly do we prove that the child has grown up in America? If they’re registered in school and have school IDs and years of records then that would seem to be enough proof. Also, childcare health records would be useful for proving eligibility and would reduce any concerns about their health status. But you would undoubtedly have liberals say that having to prove schooling and medical care/childcare would leave out too many illegal immigrant children.

I am a big believer in the rule of law but we must always make sure that our laws are consistent with traditional American values. There has to be a way that Congress can pass legislation that create some legal avenue for these young people to become the American citizens that they have always thought they were as they grew up. At the same time, a solution to the DACA issue cannot be used as an excuse to legitimize illegal immigrants who were not raised in America.  And any proposed solution must include border enforcement to ensure we are not facing the exact same problem in the future.

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