The series of immigration-related tweets fired off by President Trump over the weekend yet again managed to unhinge his critics in the media, particularly his assertion that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was one reason why illegal immigrants cross into the U.S.
“These big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA. They want in on the act!” tweeted Trump on April 1.
Making the case that a generous, albeit unconstitutional, program could serve as an incentive to enter the U.S. was beyond critics’ comprehension.
Reuters wire service released an “explainer” about how “Trump muddles DACA program in anti-immigrant Twitter comments,” and The Washington Post offered a similar take with a guide on “President Trump’s latest round of fact-challenged tweets.”
Others simply characterized Trump as ignorant and imbecilic.
In a CNN opinion piece titled, “Trump’s ignorance about immigration is stunning,” Raul Reyes, an attorney and pundit, found it “particularly startling” that the president “suggests that people are coming to the US without authorization to take advantage of the DACA program.”
“New arrivals are not eligible for DACA — so to suggest that people are coming here to obtain the program’s protections is simply wrong,” he surmised.
While Sen. Dianne Feinstein buttered up to her radical leftist base on Twitter.
“In order to qualify for DACA, you must have lived in the U.S. since at least 2007. President Trump is wrong. DACA is not encouraging people to cross illegally into the U.S. New arrivals are not eligible under DACA,” she tweeted.
But Feinstein should know better. At least she did three years ago when the California senator told The Washington Post that her staff “learned that many of the children were smuggled across the border after hearing radio ads promising they would not be deported” under policies, including DACA, implemented by the Obama administration.
The experience of Feinstein’s staff was detailed in 2014 internal memo written by Border Patrol agents that found, according to the Washington Examiner, “the main reason the subjects chose this particular time to migrate to the United States was to take advantage of the ‘new’ U.S. ‘law’ that grants a ‘free pass’ or permit (referred to as ‘permisos’) being issued by the U.S. government to female adult OTMs (‘Other Than Mexicans’) traveling with minors and to UACs (‘Unaccompanied Children’).”
Just two years after President Obama created DACA, it was luring immigrants from Central America to risk life and limb to reach the U.S. regardless of whether they would qualify or not. Even Obama administration officials admitted as much.
Appearing before the House Homeland Security Committee in June 2014, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson conceded there was a belief existing among Central Americans and Mexicans that there would be a “free pass” or “permiso” if they made it to the U.S.
Johnson tried to defend the administration by noting he had “personally issued an open letter to the parents of those who are sending their children from Central America to the U.S., which has been distributed broadly in Spanish and English to highlight the dangers of the journey and to emphasize there are no free passes or permisos at the other end.”
And, he went on, DHS was “making clear that the earned path to citizenship contemplated by the Senate bill passed last year will not apply to individuals who cross the border now or in the future, only to those who have been in this country for the last year and a half.” The legislation referred to by Johnson, the so-called Gang of Eight bill, failed to pass the House.
Even open border Democrats blamed the Obama administration’s approach to immigration as causing confusion and chaos.
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who in his campaign against Sen. Ted Cruz has stressed his support for DACA, acknowledged the program was contributing to the crisis on the border.
The crisis, he told Johnson, was driven by “the president’s piecemeal administrative approach to this when it comes to the DREAMers or through DACA might contribute to a perception that there are these promisos that are available in the United States.”
Considering a majority of English-speaking Americans – and obviously the media – are uninformed about the details of DACA, does anyone really believe an open letter is an effective disincentive to illegal aliens?