DACA and Congress: “The repeated failure to pass bills has left America with immigration laws that are unenforceable.”


Here is a dispassionate and rational editorial stance on DACA and the Dreamers, but will Congress act rationally?

What a wretched place we’ve become.

Donald Trump is right: Congress should pass DACA (The Economist)

The repeated failure to pass bills has left America with immigration laws that are unenforceable

IF YOU could design people in a laboratory to be an adornment to America they would look like the recipients of DACA. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an executive action issued in 2012 by Barack Obama to protect most of those who were brought to the country as children from deportation, covers about 800,000 people. They are a high-achieving lot. More than 90% of those now aged over 25 are employed; they create businesses at twice the rate of the public as a whole; many have spouses and children who are citizens. They are American in every sense bar the bureaucratic one.

Correcting that ought to be about as hard politically as declaring a new public holiday …

 … But the choice on DACA is not between the rule of law and rule by presidential edict. It is between two different types of legal failure—executive actions that are possibly unconstitutional and a set of immigration laws that are definitely impossible to enforce.

The solution …

 … is for Congress to write DACA, or something like it, into law. Yet the long-running saga over DACA and its recipients, whose average age is now 25, has been another sign that Congress’s default setting is to inaction. Mr Obama issued his executive action after years of waiting for Congress to write legislation. Congressmen ducked the decision, leading the president to take it unilaterally, on questionable authority.

A sensible conclusion.

Better if the lawmakers who spent years denouncing Mr Obama for grabbing power from Congress now choose to exercise that power themselves. The alternative is an act of economic and moral self-harm, in which Congress would further undermine both itself and the standing of the law.