Hope For Progress on Immigration?

There’s been a great deal of news on the immigration front of late. Happily, the government shutdown lasted only three days, as many Democrats quickly abandoned ship when the headlines weren’t going their way. Apparently, lots of Americans don’t think holding up funding for the government, including paychecks for military personnel and other essential workers who would continue on the job without pay, is a proper strategy for debating immigration reform. Unfortunately, the government is being funded by another Continuing Resolution rather than a formal budget, so we may be facing the same conundrum come February 8, when the CR runs out. If any business owner tried to run a company this way, it would be out of business pretty quick!

President Trump has said he is willing to “shift” more on DACA, eager for a resolution to a problem that’s been on-going for many years. Many blame Trump for rescinding DACA and giving Congress six months to come up with a legislative solution. He could have stopped the program immediately, because DACA represents the policy of the Executive branch of the government, and is not law. Of course, that would have raised a firestorm of protest, and perhaps Trump didn’t want that. On the other hand, such outrage hasn’t often stopped him from doing what he dang-well wanted to do on other matters. There’s an on-going debate on the constitutionality of DACA. Critics call it Executive branch over-reach into territory that properly belongs to the Legislative branch. Others cite that DACA has never been judged unconstitutional by the courts, that it’s a good program, and ought to continue. Several states were suing the federal government over DACA and were confident that the courts would rule it unconstitutional (which was the supposed premise for Trump’s actions). Now, other states have sued the Trump administration over rescinding the program.

My take is that Trump genuinely wants a solution for the DACA immigrants and is willing to bend (some) in order to achieve that goal. I have to say that I do think the Legislative is the proper branch of government to be dealing with this problem. It really isn’t for the Executive branch to mold policy in this way. It’s Congress’ job and, hopefully, they’ll get down to hammering out a permanent solution for these folks that includes a path to citizenship.

I know it’s not much, but that’s the good news. Now, for the bad news.

ICE continues to arrest and deport illegal immigrants, including those who were brought here as children, and those who have no criminal record and have posed no threat to society. This is contrary to a campaign promise Trump made, which was that he would focus deportation efforts on illegal immigrants who had committed crimes, especially gangs and cartel members, a promise he repeated once in office.

It’s not as simple as saying, “These people came here illegally, so they ought to be required to go home.” Let’s face it, when you’ve been here since you were ten years old and you’re now closing in on forty, the United States is your home. Also, since the U. S. government has communicated to these folks for decades that they will be allowed to stay, allowed to create lives, careers, and families here, it’s unconscienable and unjust for the government to just pull the rug out from under them based on the excuse that they’re here illegally, especially when the overwhelming majority of them would eagerly apply for citizenship if there were a path open for them.

The Trump administration, and its enforcers at ICE, need to know that they cannot treat people this way. It is unjust and un-American. These folks love this country. It is their home. They’ve served this country well. They deserve to be treated fairly.

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.











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