More than 140 top U.S. companies recently sent a letter to President Trump asking him to keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program intact—a move that further demonstrates the business lobby’s misconception of the program and its aligned interests with the open border’s agenda.
DACA is a program created under the Obama administration that provides deportation relief and work authorizations to an entire class of illegal aliens, particularly the children of illegal aliens who arrived in the U.S. prior to the age of 16 and who were under 31 on June 15, 2012.
The problem with this program is that a president does not have the ability to universally grant a de facto amnesty to millions of illegal aliens in the country—only Congress does. President Obama agreed with this notion on 22 separate occasions, but created DACA anyway with just a policy memo – not even with an Executive Order.
Even the Supreme Court’s liberal justices recently admitted that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) could rescind the program, hinting that its legality is as shaky as Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) was.
If the creator of DACA did not believe he had the constitutional authority to implement this policy, and the program itself has dubious legal footing, companies such as Apple, Amazon, and General Motors should never have themselves in a position of relying on a program that hangs by a very tenuous thread.
So why are these 140 or so companies fighting so hard against repealing DACA? Well, according to them, “DACA recipients have been critical members of our workforce, industries, and communities for years now, and they have abided by the laws and regulations of our country in order to maintain their DACA status. Their work and commitment to our companies, their families and communities are critical to our nation’s strength, especially since there are tens of thousands of DACA recipients working as front-line doctors and nurses and in other critical industries fighting COVID19.”
Is this really the case? Let’s break it down.
The letter begins by suggesting that “DACA recipients have abided by the laws and regulations of our country in order to maintain their DACA status.” This is a generalization that is extremely misleading and couldn’t be farther from the truth.
First, as President Obama noted, DACA recipients are still illegal aliens, and the program merely offers them deferral from enforcement and temporary work authorization, not legal status. Every single one of these recipients is in the country unlawfully, which is a deportable offense and a breach of our nation’s federal laws.
Moreover, recent United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data show that many are guilty of other offenses in addition to their immigration violations. Approximately 60,000 of these recipients “had arrest records as of the date the systems were queried, which included offenses such as assault and battery, rape, murder, and drunk driving, among others.” Additionally, more than 7,800 of “approved DACA requestors with an arrest had an arrest after their grant was approved and prior to renewal.” Even more startling, more than 50 individuals had their status approved even though they had at least 10 previous arrests.
While most DACA recipients do not have criminal records or will commit a crime, there is still a sizable number of recipients—in the tens of thousands—who are criminals and are by no means “abiding by the laws and regulations of our country.”
The letter then states that there are “tens of thousands of DACA recipients working as front-line doctors and nurses,” which is also a complete distortion. Approximately 29,000 DACA recipients work in the healthcare industry, but their representation is miniscule in comparison to the 14.8 million health care professionals in the country. In fact, DACA medical professionals represent a mere 0.2 percent of the nation’s medical worker professionals. Furthermore, with record American unemployment in the millions, including substantial unemployment in the healthcare industry, it is more than reasonable to argue that the nation’s own workers should be prioritized first for employment.
Though DACA recipients serve in some critical roles during COVID-19, their compensation, like all workers, is monetary and comes with no implied promise of permanent legal status. Many Americans serve in critical roles during COVID-19 and are not exempted from the rule of law. So why should DACA recipients be given exception?
The business lobby’s letter to the president is a blatant attempt to use the current crisis to achieve long-sought political ends. Instead of relentless lobbying campaigns, in good times and in bad, these companies should spend their resources and time hiring and training more Americans as the country faces record unemployment levels.