If you don’t want to make a decision, have someone else make it for you!
On Sept. 12, President Donald Trump announced that he was rescinding Deferred Action Childhood Arrival, commonly referred to as DACA. This was a policy established by President Barack Obama in June 2012.
According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, this policy provides legal status to 787,580 individuals who illegally entered the United States as minors.
In a tweet following the announcement, Trump announced that there would be no action taken for six months against people whose status expires and asked the U.S. Congress to come up with legislation protecting people who would be out of status once the grace period is over.
This announcement comes at a time when Congress is lacking in bipartisanship and is burdened with various legislative matters, including disaster relief to deal with the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. This announcement puts additional pressure on both sides to come up with a solution to protect people, many of whom have lived and established roots in the United States.
The immediate solution for Congress could be the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act that was first introduced in 2001, which provides conditional residency to qualified individuals and then establishes permanent residency. This would allow for the provisions established by DACA to stay in place while ensuring that the standards it incorporated are maintained.
Another solution that is growing in public support is establishing a path to citizenship for DACA recipients. According to a poll by Politico/Morning consult, 54 percent of people want Congress to establish a path to citizenship. In the same poll, 73 percent said they want legislation protecting DACA recipients from deportation.
We can only go forward from here. The question that needs to be answered is “What can we do to ensure that a single administration is not able to effectively cause over half a million people to lose legal status?”
The solution is establishing sound legislation that settles this issue once and for all.
Coming after his first legislative win last week, where Trump worked with the Democrats to raise the borrowing limit and allocate funds for disaster relief in Texas, this problem is another chance for the president to push unity across party lines and work toward a solution that ensures that 800,000 people are not left stranded.
Both Republicans and Democrats have expressed their desire to protect DACA status recipients. Congress’ prioritizing this will bring about a sign of good faith that the country needs after months of impasse on legislation.
This is not to mention the welcome irony of Trump, who has advocated a tough stance on immigration, signing legislation that can bring a close to the debacle of illegal childhood immigration after 17 years.