Thursday, September 14, 2017

What Congress Should Do About DACA Beneficiaries

DACA is not a path to legal residency or U.S. citizenship. It’s only a temporary solution. It’s no different than putting a small Band-Aid on a large wound.
... Here’s what Congress should do: grant student visas to the illegal immigrants currently going to school. The length of the visa should match the years remaining for them to get a degree. Grant work visas to illegal immigrants who have jobs and no criminal record. The length of the visa should match their employment contract or a minimum of five years.
Neither student visas nor work visas are immigrant visas, but they will let these kids continue whatever they’re doing without interruption. They can renew their visas as long as they don’t commit any crime and they continue to go to school or work. If they desire to become permanent residents of the United States, they can apply for it, following the paths that 30 million legal immigrants have been following for years: through family reunion, employment, and other existing legal channels.
Congress should not create a special path to citizenship for these children. It’s a fairness issue. Keep in mind that the 30 million legal immigrants in the United States and the four million applicants who are currently in the process outside the United States didn’t get any relief even though they dutifully followed the law, paid hefty fees, and endured long waits, sometimes decades long.
To add insult to injury, legal applicants for citizenship were pushed further down the line to make room for illegal immigrants. For example, as of January 2015, the U.S. Justice Department delayed thousands of immigrants’ court hearings for five years to make room for the courts to process unaccompanied minors and family unit cases. If Congress offers a special path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, it sends the wrong message to law-abiding legal immigrants that there is no punishment for violating and no reward for obeying the law in the United States.
DACA is not the right solution for children who were brought here illegally. The right solution is for Congress to pass a common-sense legislation, that doesn’t give them special privileges, as soon as possible.
Read the full op-ed from The Federalist HERE.

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