Liddick: Much ado about DACA — why borders still matter (column)
September 11, 2017
Sometimes, it's not hard to figure out. The agenda is right out there glistening in the daylight. So it was last week with students and hangers-on in Colorado, out in the streets with the peeve du jour: President Trump's deadline on the Deferred Action on Childhood Adjudication program, also known as DACA. Among the slogans of manufactured outrage: "No borders, no nations, no racists, no deportations," a catchy little jingle obviously penned by people with no use for this country, its citizens or anything else outside their petty self-interest and the thrill of wrecking. And who have no knowledge of, nor interest in, history.
Absent a nation-state, there is the Hobbesian state of nature; good for the rich, strong, well-connected and well-armed. For everyone else, it's an unending horror story — something most historically literate people in Western societies have known for 500 years. Borders and their policing are an essential element of the nation-state, so what those throwing the petulant fit over DACA were really demanding is an end to the safety of a law-based state. Misinformed but well-programmed by what passes for public education, they assume they would be immune to the massive upheavals which would follow. Five thousand turbulent years of human behavior suggest they are fatally wrong.
Those up in arms about winding down DACA are wrong about other things too. First, President Trump didn't violate the Constitution by his action, no matter what the Democrats now frantically judge-shopping to protect their constituents-to-be say. Barack Obama did, by granting exemptions to law for a certain group, without Congressional action. Read Article one, section 8.4 of the Constitution if you doubt this. Follow it up with the November 25, 2015, Fifth Circuit Court decision essentially agreeing that DACA was a fatally flawed executive overreach.
Second, no one has a "right" to surreptitiously enter, then reside in, the United States, regardless of how fervently one may believe they do. Both "entry without permission" and "residence without permission" are violations of federal statute, illegal by definition. There is no exemption for age. Even Senator Bennett should know this. And if "illegal alien" grates, how about "illegally resident aliens?" It's both factually and grammatically correct, if clumsier…
Borders and their policing are an essential element of the nation-state, so what those throwing the petulant fit over DACA were really demanding is an end to the safety of a law-based state. Misinformed but well-programmed by what passes for public education, they assume they would be immune to the massive upheavals which would follow.
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Third, most of those who support so-called "Dreamers" have ulterior motives, many of them not altruistic. The Robber Barons of our new electronic age want oodles more workers so they can continue to buy expertise at knock-down rates without the inconvenience of moving more operations to India. Retailers and manufacturers want much the same. Universities want more pupils, who will fatten the bottom line. Public school districts do too. The Left wants more Democrat voters, the more doctrinaire and ahistorical, the better. Everyone profits from amnesty, save current citizens — which is why the argument is always couched in emotional appeal, not analysis of interests.
Fourth, those who whine that six months is too short a time to come up with a solution to our country's immigration conundrum have accepted the myth that Congress is packed with indolent idiots and that their problem is our fault because we elected them. At best, this is half right. If our senators and representatives worked more than six hours a day, three days a week with frequent lengthy holidays no matter what they accomplish, they might actually achieve what we pay them to do. Perhaps now is the time to remind them that having hired them for the job, if they are not up it there are others who want the opportunity to try.
For a start on immigration, they might consider Rep. Mike Coffman's proposal on DACA: permanent legal residence, no citizenship. For those who claim that returning home would be fatal, problem solved: safety and security of person, possessions and employment here. The proposal might be modified to encourage those who seek citizenship to return to their country of birth, to apply for legal admission as intending immigrants. If initiated as part of a comprehensive immigration reform that replaces "family reunification" with "potential contribution to the national interest," all those well-educated, industrious, ambitious "Dreamers" who Senator Dick Durban calls "the best and brightest in our country" should immediately be moved to the front of the queue.
If Sen. Durban's characterization is eyewash, I could understand why partisans of illegally resident aliens might demur: If, like the rest of us they vary widely in capability and ambition, a good number of those potential 800,000 new Democrat voters might not materialize. Which is unthinkable to some.
So the appeal to emotion will continue, and the public tantrums and inaction. Until six months is behind us again.
Morgan Liddick writes a weekly column for the Summit Daily.
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