Skip to main content

Three Reasons Conservatives Should Support DAPA

With Donald Trump's wild rantings of the superior negotiating skills of the Mexican government, and his idea that all undocumented immigrants are criminals (neither of which has any basis in fact, but hey, its a presidential campaign, facts are not relevant), there has been a lot of attention paid to the Obama Administration's DACA and DAPA programs.  The DACA program has been an unqualified success for those 50% or so of eligible people who have signed up for it, has created opportunity for those individuals, and has even filled government coffers at the local, state and federal level.  The DAPA program is only hold  because 26 GOP controlled states decided they did not want undocumented parents of U.S. citizens to have work permits and to be safe from deportation for two years (not including, of course, the millions who do not qualify for the program). From a politically conservative point of view, it is an untenable position for at least three reasons.

The definition of a conservative "is someone who rises above his personal self-interest and promotes moral and economic values beneficial to all."  Well, if that is the definition, then let's look at it in the context of DAPA.  What are "the moral and economic values beneficial to all" that flow from DAPA? 

First, there is the most obvious reason--economics.  Someone who has been living in the shadows, perhaps working with no papers and paid in cash, or working with fake papers and getting paid and paying taxes and for social security they will never see, is now in the light of day, working without fear of deportation (for at least two years). There is no permanent benefit that comes from DAPA, nor does such a person have "lawful status."   It is quite obvious that such a person will now be more fully engaged in the "daylight' economy; purchasing cars, paying taxes, saving money, and generally becoming a more integrated member of society. Without a doubt, there is great economic value in this.  Remember, the vast majority of these folks are already working in jobs; getting work permits will formalize this, not take jobs from Americans. Basic economics also tells that that more people making more money means more money will be spent, more taxes will be collected, and more jobs will be created.  

Second, individuals who apply for DAPA will be, in effect, self-reporting to the USCIS (the benefits side of immigration within DHS), and in turn vetted through the systems and background checks of ICE (the enforcement side of immigration). Everyone who applies for DAPA knows it would be for two years, with extensions dependent on a sitting President. The Democratic candidates have all said they would continue or expand DAPA, and the GOP candidates have all said they would eliminate it.  Essentially, DAPA means that 4to 5 million people who are currently deportable, typically for either entering the U.S. illegally, or overstaying a visa (not a crime), will freely give their names, addresses, fingerprints and other personal data to the DHS.  Obviously, that means 4-5 million fewer people for the officer and agents at ICE to look through to find those they actually need to and deport within their allocated budget from Congress.  The program is fiscally sound, self-funded by the participants (as Ted Cruz learned), and should it be cancelled, and should Congress allocate $400-600 billion dollars to remove everyone, it would be mean that 4 to 5 million people would be easier to find.

Third, the DAPA recipients are all parents of U.S. Citizens or permanent residents. That means that all of them, yes, all of them, are either currently eligible for  permanent residence, or will be when their child is 21 and a U.S. citizen.  The only thing stopping the vast majority of them from applying for permanent residence when their child is eligible to sponsor, is the law created by Congress in 1996 which says that if you entered the US illegally you cannot get a green card here, and must go home for 10 years before returning. By receiving DAPA,  you are keeping families together (morally right), and you ensuring that the parents are able to provide for their US citizen children (economically beneficial). reducing poverty and claims for government services for the children.  If you really want to focus on deportation, then deporting the parents of U.S. citizens who have no criminal record and who's only crime MAY be a misdemeanor illegal entry, then perhaps morally and economically, is not the best place to start.

There are other conservative reasons for supporting DAPA.  Most of those are biblically related, and I will leave those for another post.  Suffice it to say that DAPA should not have been necessary.  Conservatives in Congress should have argued for a strong enforcement and security based plan that would have also strongly encouraged folks to come out of the shadows.  But the House GOP refused to even consider any immigration reform package, forcing Obama to create DAPA.  Real conservatives would actually create a program that works better for America and for Immigrants, but it appears that there are very few real conservatives in Congress.  And, THAT will cost the GOP and conservatives the next presidential election.  


Popular posts from this blog

If You Are An Immigrant (even a US Citizen), Here Are 9 Things You Should Know

Are you a Naturalized U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, Visa Holder, or an Undocumented Immigrant? We recommend you take the following steps to protect yourself in our current version of America.
The last couple of weeks have reminded immigrants, even naturalized U.S. citizens, that they were not born in the United States. Our office has received countless phone calls, emails, and social media messages from people worrying about what their family’s future in the United States holds.
Most people want to know what they can do now to protect themselves from what promises to be a wave of anti-immigration activity by the federal government. Trump's Executive Order on Interior Enforcement has some provisions that should make most Americans shiver.  We recommend the following actions for each of the following groups:
Naturalized U.S. citizens. In particular if you have a foreign accent, and you are traveling within 100 miles of any US Border (including the oceans), we strongly rec…

Why is USCIS Taking So Long to Renew DACA Work Permits?

If the calls to our office are any indicator, there are thousands of DACA recipients whose work permit applications were filed at least three months prior to expiration, who are still waiting for their renewed work permits.  Without renewed permits, these individuals lose the right to work legally, the right to drive, and may once again accrue unlawful presence.

The DHS published a notice in October 2014 advising DACA recipients that they could file their request for extension up to 150 days (5 months) prior to expiration.  As with all things government, very few of the DACA recipients, who tend not to frequent government websites, knew about the memo and many did not file so far before expiration perhaps thinking that extending a work permit was a like extending a drivers license, its is done in a few minutes.  As an experienced immigration lawyer will tell you, the USCIS does nothing quickly, and certainly does not worry that a person may lose their job or their driver's licens…


Todas las personas en los Estados Unidos, incluidos los extranjeros y aun los con ordenes de deportacion, tienen ciertos derechos básicos que deben ser respetados por los agentes de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE). Estos derechos se derivan tanto de la Constitución de los Estados Unidos. y las leyes de Estados Unidos. Como extranjero, usted tiene los siguientes derechos:

Usted tiene el derecho de negar la entrada a un agente de ICE a su casa sin una orden válida. Esta orden debe ser firmado por un juez. Usted puede negarse a abrir la puerta, o se puede cerrar la puerta después de descubrir que el agente no tiene una orden válida. Los agentes del ICE generalmente no vienen con una orden judicial. Estos agentes suelen venir a la casa de alguien con una orden final de deportación, muy temprano en la mañana. Si alguien está golpeando en su puerta a las 6:00 am, no le es requerido abrir la puerta. Mirar fuera de primera. Si es un agente del gobierno, ust…