Your DACA Primer: Dispelling the Opposition’s Favorite Talking Points



At any moment, the Supreme Court will announce its decision about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA was an Obama-era edict that deferred the deportation of an entire class of illegal aliens, namely the children of illegal aliens who arrived in the U.S. prior to age 16 and who were under 31 on June 15, 2012.

While the Court is being asked to consider the question of whether or not the Trump administration had the legal right to end the program, some legal scholars speculate that the Court could make a much broader ruling about the constitutionality of DACA in the first place, although the former is much more likely than the latter.

Regardless of what path the Court ultimately takes, here are five of the top DACA talking points from the open borders lobby that are completely misleading or false:

1.  DACA beneficiaries are helpless kids.  While “DACA kids” has become part of advocacy jargon, more than 70 percent of DACA recipients are in their 20s and 30s, with some nearly 40, and know full well that they are living in the U.S. illegally. Furthermore, they are citizens of another country and thus, if eventually told to leave the U.S., have a country that is their legal home to return to.

2.  DACA recipients fled economic hardship in developing nations. DACA recipients are not all individuals who fled poor economic conditions at home.  According to U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) DACA recipients hail from 149 different countries, including many from highly-developed nations in Europe and Asia.

3.  If DACA recipients are forced to return home, many of them won’t be able to speak the language of their native countries. At least 26 of the countries from where DACA recipients hail speak English as a national language. These counties include the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and India among many others.

4.  President Obama had the constitutional right to create DACA.  DACA was an overly broad and unconstitutional exercise of executive power by President Obama that would likely have been struck down by the courts if it was challenged on face value. A similar program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) – an Obama program that deferred deportation to illegal aliens who had American children – was struck down by the courts and found unconstitutional.

5.  If DACA is struck down by the Supreme Court, recipients face immediate removal.  In reality, if DACA is stuck down, its recipients will not be targeted for immediate removal.  They simply would no longer be exempt from enforcement or eligible for work authorization.

Regardless of your opinion of DACA, the Supreme Court ruling will not likely be the last word on the issue. Congress will have the ultimate say on the future of DACA.

About Author

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Dave rejoined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016 and brings more than thirty years of proactive communications experience working with non-profits, trade associations and the private sector. Dave has written and placed op-eds in more than 100 publications for national and state leaders in fields ranging from immigration to agriculture policy, food and energy. Ray has served as a chief spokesman for several national organizations and has extensive radio and television experience as well.

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