Obama's executive actions about DACA and DAPA will prevent deportation for about 5 million people who are in the U.S. illegally. The executive actions were put on hold by an injunction issued in February by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas. Twenty-six states, led by Texas, say that Obama's action was unconstitutional.
Early in March, the Justice Department filed an emergency motion with the 5th Circuit, asking it to lift Judge Hanen's injunction. The Justice Department said that the injunction interferes with the Homeland Security Department's ability to protect the country and secure our borders.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said that on 17 April each side will have an hour to make their arguments about the injunction.
The Justice Department had asked Judge Hanen to lift the injunction while the case was appealed to the 5th Circuit. But the judge refused. He wanted to hear why the U.S. government had not told him about the 108,000 people who received three-year DACA renewals before the judge had made a decision on the injunction.
A recent headline says, “Democrats Will Protect Families Until Immigration Reform Happens”. Will that be true? Right now we are not sure what the Democrats will be able to accomplish. It seems very clear that many Republic congressmen will continue to defeat any meaningful immigration reform.
The reality is clear. Almost all of the 11 million illegal aliens in the U.S. will live here for the rest of their lives, regardless of whether we change our laws. Most of them have lived here for a decade already, and most live in families with children who are mostly U.S. citizens. Deporting this huge illegal population isn’t going to happen.
Legislatively, we are at a stalemate. Republicans in the House of Representatives have enough votes to pass some of their anti-immigrant and anti-immigration bills in the House, but probably not enough votes to pass them in the Senate. And even if a bill does pass, neither the House nor the Senate could override a presidential veto, so these anti-immigrant bills will never become law.
Immigration activists say that we do not need more fences and borders. An orderly legalization program would be the least expensive and most productive way forward. But others say that if our borders were made secure, the vast majority of Americans would support a path to citizenship for those illegal aliens who can prove they have lived here for some time and have no criminal record. This path would place them at the back of the line and would include penalties for knowingly breaking our laws. The best way forward is to ensure that the United States remains a nation of laws.
There are many illegal aliens in America who have paid taxes, held a job, learned English and obeyed the law. Those people, and their children, should, after paying a steep fine, be able to get in line and have a path to citizenship. Those illegal aliens who have not played by the rules should be deported as soon as possible. Although America is a true democracy, and a “melting pot,” we cannot allow the pot to boil over.
We are indeed a country of immigrants, but those who came in the past had a vision and a goal. Assimilation was their primary objective: Be an American in thought and language. The old cultural norms should be put aside. The responsibility for positive integration today lies with the immigrants. It is not fair to expect our existing society to conform to their wants and needs.
What we have today is a modified version of the legal/illegal immigration policy applied to Cubans. If you can reach the United States, live in the shadows for a few years, perhaps have a child here, and avoid any felony convictions, you can stay. That is not a very satisfactory “policy.”
The activists insist that we must ensure that the illegal aliens in America are as educated as possible is both social and economic ways. Future tax revenues depend on it. They say that if we want to preserve the way of life we enjoy, we must legalize, educate and assimilate our immigrant population.
Should illegal aliens be legalized and integrated into the United States economy? That is the continuing question facing members of congress and facing the citizens of the United States.
Q.1. Is there any chance that the executive actions for DACA and DAPA will go into effect this year?
A.1. First we have to see what the federal appeals court decides later in April. If the appeals court does not decide in favor of the executive actions, then the case will probably go to the Supreme Court. We might not have a favorable result until the end of this year.
Q.2. How could many illegal aliens be eligible for tax credits under the DAPA program?
A.2. Under the President's DAPA plan, four-to-five million illegal aliens will receive Social Security Numbers, making them eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). U.S. tax law allows a person to amend their tax returns from the past three years. The Congressional Research Service has determined that millions of illegal aliens will each be eligible for nearly $25,000 in EITC tax credits for tax years 2011-2014 combined.
A.3. Only California and a few other states give illegal aliens the same benefits as legal residents. In Missouri recently, theMissouri House passed House Bill ("H.B.") 187, which prohibits illegal aliens from receiving post-secondary education benefits in the state, including taxpayer-funded scholarships, grants, and financial assistance.