Today, the Obama Administration’s policy of deferred action for so-called DREAMers goes into effect.
The policy, announced by President Obama on June 15, will allow as many as 1.7 million illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as youths to apply to stay in the U.S. for two years without facing deportation.
While praised by some as “one of the most sweeping changes in immigration policy in decades,” the program (dubbed Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) does little to actually solve the nation’s immigration challenges.
Rather than unite the nation with solutions to an important national problem, President Obama chose undercut the legislative process and abuse the latitude the President has under existing law in an attempt to effectively implement large portions of the DREAM Act legislation that has been considered and rejected by both Democratic- and Republican-controlled Congresses.
As a policy matter, there are reasonable ways to address the cases of children who were brought to the U.S. illegally at a very young age by their parents—ways that are consistent with conservative principles of immigration reform. Indeed, the U.S. immigration system is broken and in dire need of reform. Our nation’s leaders should work together to find effective, reasonable, and pro-immigration solutions to safeguarding the nation’s borders, promoting the rule of law, and administering a fair and positive immigration and naturalization system.
This should include reforming the visa system to make it easier for immigrants to come to the U.S. legally, expanding temporary worker programs, enforcing laws on the books, enhancing U.S. border security efforts.
Policies that circumvent Congress, however, are not the answer. Indeed, as Heritage’s Matt Spalding explained:
Finding an actual solution through the legislative process would give the law legitimacy and more permanency, and it might even result in a bipartisan agreement.
Instead, the Obama Administration’s deferred action policy serves only to poison the well looking at collaborative solutions for the way forward.
Any hope for true solutions to our nation’s immigration challenges should begin with respecting rule of law.