DACA Negotiations Ignore the National Interest

Why accommodate all the extended family members on the waiting list for visas by giving them visas as part of a compromise at the same time that chain migration is ended? That issue was dealt with by the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform (USCIR) – the last non-partisan national commission studying immigration reform in the mid-1990s – and its recommendation was to simply terminate those approved applications as no longer valid under the proposed new policy.

Why exclude from a compromise the issue of expanding the E-Verify system that allows employers to verify their new hires are legal workers? The recommendation of the USCIR was the establishment of a national system to more effectively deny job opportunities to illegal migrants. That recommendation has been languishing as a voluntary – rather than mandatory – system for more than two decades. Making the system wholly operational has had bipartisan support in the past.

If the immigration negotiation adopts an amnesty for the DACA beneficiaries, as President Trump unwisely seems prepared to do, it will advertise that sneaking into the country continues to be a viable way to gain permanent residence. If that happens, much more than expanding fencing on the border will be necessary to discourage acting on that incentive. That is the reasoning behind the action of Congress in 1986 to deny jobs to those who come illegally by making it illegal to hire an illegal worker. And, that is why the USCIR tried to put teeth in that job denial system by mandating the identity checking system.

Why object to including the termination of the visa lottery in a compromise deal? That reform has in the past had bipartisan support in legislation and was in the reform legislation approved by the Senate in the last reform negotiations. The lottery serves no obvious purpose other than to increase the number of immigrants who otherwise would not qualify for a visa.

Unfortunately the Democrat leadership and some Republicans are taking the position that illegal aliens and millions of prospective immigrants are a constituency to be served, while ignoring long-term national interests. The issue is not – as critics of immigration limits like to characterize it – an effort to exclude non-white foreigners, but rather an effort to continue the historic open door immigration policy while moderating the level of immigrants so that they do not overwhelm the absorptive capacity of the current residents, create unfair competition to the workforce, and unnecessarily burden the social welfare system.

About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar
    walter siebert on

    I think I’m gonna leave this country then sneak back in as an Illegal alien, Free healthcare and more benefits than I get after paying taxes for the past fifty years.

  2. avatar

    First we teach them a trade like digging ditches ,concrete work, masonry,then we give them on the job training. When they finish the wall they will have skills that will get them a job anywhere in the world . I’m not saying which side they will be on when it is finished.

  3. avatar

    Its worse then you think. When Trump picked Pence as VP and then said on the campaign trail, he will end all illegal immigration, I figured he wasn’t talking about deporting them all, which would had been nice, and being they aren’t putting e-verify on the table so they would self deport, it could only mean one thing. Pence and Kay Bailey Hutchison wrote legislation in 2006 giving all illegals here that had jobs a work permit. It stated they would have to leave for a week or two and then they could come back and be here legally. I think that is what Trump was talking about when he said they have to leave and come back legally. The legislation didn’t pass but didn’t stop Pence from trying to continue pushing it over the years. Don’t believe me just google Pence’s immigration plan in 2006. I think if they see people aren’t that angry over this amnesty they are trying to push, this will be their next step.

  4. avatar

    What do we do with illegals? Everyone seems to have a solution as to how we ought to deal with it. Now I know you’re anxious to see my solution. First, all the ones who are here through no fault of their own, I would either grant them a quick path to citizenship or give them amnesty, some were born here. Then I would try to get a bill through congress to end this stupid law that grants children of illegals citizenship. If the parents are illegal, the children should be too. If the ones here now, are good citizens, have not been in trouble with the law, working or going to school, we should try to accommodate them. If they want to serve in the military, & upon their honorable discharge. they could become citizens. All with criminal records, go back to the land of their parents. We need to end chain migration, that is a dumb idea, whomever came up with it. I would cease receiving most muslims in order to let in more Hispanics. Most of the Hispanics I know assimilate into our society easily & willingly. Muslims is another story all together. If it were up to me I would not accept any of them, if they would not accept our constitution & obey our laws. I would say, for the most part, go back to the way we used to accept immigrants. We all are immigrants, or children of immigrants, but our ancestors wanted to be Americans, they were happy & thankful for the opportunity to come to this great land of opportunity. They rolled up their sleeves & went to work & took care of themselves, they did not look to the government to take care of them. I would give out welfare for maybe 6 mos., by that time, you should either have some kind of a job, or have a good excuse, in order to still continue drawing gov. assistance. I think Mr Trump would try to come up with a plan fair, & reasonable, if the democrats would work with him, but they are not, their aim is to have him impeached somehow, some way. I have made up my mind, I will not vote for a democrat in Nov. & I will closely scrutinize the Repub.s I vote for, & if they show any inclination of being RINOs, I will not vote for them either.

    • avatar

      You’re way too easy on the “Dreamers”. They may have been brought here through no fault of their own, but they still got a free ride when you consider that they are technically still illegal plus there have been people trying to come in legally for years and are having to jump through hoops.

    • avatar

      Your solution results in the next generation of DACA parents packing up to head here. They will come here as long as illegal entry into this country is rewarded and you propose to reward at least the children of illegal aliens.

      If the solution to illegal entry into this country is constrained to be humane then no solution exists and we may as well invite everyone. What we need to do is appoint the meanest sob we can find who will restrict his actions only to the letter of the law.

    • avatar

      First, the argument of “being here thttough no fault of their own” is ridiculous. All children move with their families and get no say in the matter. How about the teenage children that came without family? Was this coming no fault of their own? We’re those parents that sent their kids off on that journey alone better than the parents that took their kids with them? At any rate, the vast majority of these “children” knew, at the time, that it was wrong as they and their families hid and evaded authorities to sneak into another country, and the children have certainly known it since then. No, they do not get a pass due to such a ridiculous reason. Second, any kids born here are citizens, were NOT brought here. Third, today, we have over 50 million Mexicans here, 20 million illegally. No, we do not need more Mexicans unless our nation us complicit in helping Mexico take over our nation in several more years when THEIR citizens are a majority here. Fourth, no welfare ever for Non citizens. Our programs like welfare, Medicaid, SS/Medicare, tax refunds, drivers license, voting, etc, are American programs for American CITIZENS and were NEVER meant for Non CITIZENS, legal or not. Right now, we are spending a trillion dollars EVERY YEAR on welfare and this includes refugees/asylees/temporarily (TPS) and millions of illegals. This is NOT a sustainable policy and is an insane way for a nation to operate. And no 6 months welfare for newcomers. We must strictly limit legal immigration and make sure any allowed are financially solvent. I do agree with you about Muslims. And allowing foreigners here that have no desire nor intention of assimilating is another thing that desperately needs changing. To take in, by the millions annually, such people who will never gave allegiance to any country but their own is absolute insanity and leads straight to self destruction. The vast majority of foreigners coming here today, legal a nd illegal, have no interest in becoming American, but instead bring with them the same lives they led before and retain allegiance only to the nstion they left. The truth is the majority just want what we have and are unwilling to give anything in exchange. Very, very different attitudes and intentions than immigrants in America’s early years. As for more Hispanic immigrants, we have too many of those already if the purpose is diversity. Since immigration for decades has focused, deliberately, on non white foreigners, how about for the next 2-3 decades we focus on white European immigrants who at least are similar to us in commonalities and will assimilate? How about we give THOSE people a chance again?

  5. avatar
    James R. Alexander on

    I have repeatedly asked: Does anyone in Washington, D. C. know the meaning of the word “ILLEGAL”? Are they aware some acts like murder, robbery, rape, double parking and speeding are ILLEGAL? Since ILLEGAL ALIENS – non-citizens of the United States – have reportedly walked, crawled, flew or swam across OUR Sovereign Nation’s border, would that also be considered to be an “ILLEGAL” act? Why then, aren’t the immigration laws already on the books being enforced ?

    Simple solution to the ILLEGAL ALIEN problem: Find them and DEPORT them ALL according to the Law. Then build the Wall and triple the number of Border Patrol Agents to back up the Wall.