I am against special treatment for DACA “Dreamers.”
My first job in the Foreign Service was as a vice-consul issuing visas at the American Consulate General in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in the 1970s. Every time I refused a visa to a Brazilian applicant because I thought he might try to work illegally in the US, I felt badly because I knew if he lived in Mexico, he could just walk across the border into the US. That was not an option for Brazilians, especially poor ones for whom travel was expensive.
For immigrant visas, two of the most important requirements were that the visa applicant have a labor certification that he or she would not take a job in America that would displace an American worker, and that he or she had sufficient financial resources so that they would not become a public charge and receive welfare benefits. Mexicans illegally entering the US did not have to meet either of these tests. On the one hand, DACA advocates argue that illegals only take jobs that Americans will not do; on the other hand, PBS and other pro-DACA news media show many DACA candidates who are studying to be doctors, lawyers, or computer scientists, or who have started successful businesses. Which is it? It’s some of both, but interestingly, many of the low wage Mexican workers probably displace African-Americans. Democrats don’t worry about African-Americans, because they are guaranteed to vote Democratic. To assuage black concerns about losing jobs to Mexicans, Democrats will give them lots of welfare.
The Democrats are pushing for DACA because they expect Mexicans will vote Democratic and they want as many of them in the US as possible to build up the Democratic base, even if it takes a few years to get them the vote.
The American immigration system has been broken for at least 50 years. It is sort of the reverse image of our drug laws. We have relatively few immigrants in prison, even for serious crimes, while we have many drug users in jail for minor crimes. Both represent failed policies and poor law enforcement.
We should be somewhat concerned about hardships imposed on Dreamers; we don’t have to put all of them on buses back to Mexico tomorrow. But we should enforce applicable laws in a humane fashion. While they are here, I don’t think we should give them lots of money, whether for subsistence, health care, or other necessities. If they can’t support themselves, send them back to Mexico sooner rather than later, and let the Mexican government support them. They should also show some interest in becoming Americans, whether as citizens or permanent residents, not just in working or going to school here because they just happen to be here. The whole point of DACA is that these kids did not want to come to America; they were dragged here.
People say that children should not be punished for the crimes of their parents, but if the parents rob a bank, the children should not be allowed to keep the money their parents stole. Allowing Dreamers to stay in the US is a benefit for which they should be prepared to work and sacrifice. If they don’t want to, send them back to Mexico.
I was concerned during the government shutdown that the Democratic Party was putting the interests of Mexicans (Dreamers) ahead of the interests of American citizens, such as military veterans. The VA hospital in Denver is an illustration of government’s perverse priorities. Millions, maybe billions, have been paid to contractors and other political donors to construct an empty building that is an insult to veterans. While veterans die, Democrats cry tears for Dreamers and shovel money out the door to help them. I understand that Mexicans are the future of the Democratic Party and that they must buy their votes now to strengthen the party in future years, but it leaves a bad taste in the mouths of Americans.
I do not care much about building a wall. The wall is symbolic. If we build it, it is concrete proof that we are serious about enforcing immigration laws. If we don’t build it, it means we will carry on with business as usual, ignoring many laws already on the books.