Seven years ago,
To lessen the threat of deportation for those who arrived in the United States as children, the House in 2010 passed the
As well he should. The usual arguments for escalating deportations — that low-wage immigrants compete unfairly with U.S. citizens, and that they somehow pose a threat to public safety — are especially hollow when applied to those brought into the country as young children.
As president, Trump has expressed sympathy for the Dreamers' plight and has left the DACA program alone even as he ramped up deportations and ended Obama's planned extension of protections to parents of citizens and legal residents, but who are themselves in the United States illegally. Yet Trump also has not endorsed DACA, likely fearing backlash from political supporters who bought into his draconian views on immigration.
Those waters were further muddied recently when Texas and several other states threatened to file a legal challenge to DACA if Trump did not rescind it. Last week, Homeland Security Secretary
The best solution here is a comprehensive immigration overhaul that would include a reprieve for the Dreamers, but it's quixotic to think that this White House, and this Congress, would ever agree on humane reforms. The closest we came was the 2013 "Gang of Eight" Senate bill that, while imperfect, offered a bipartisan blueprint for dealing with immigrants who are in the country illegally, among other improvements in the law. That measure died in the House when Republican Speaker John A. Boehner refused to let it come to a vote.
Trump can move us in a better direction. He should show some political courage, endorse the DACA provisions and defend them should Texas carry through with its threat to sue. That would leave some of his core supporters frothing at the mouth, but that's what a leader does — makes the tough calls in the country's best interests regardless of the politics.