President Trump Announced He Will Scrap DACA: Here’s Why He’s Right
The battle over illegal immigration just kicked into high gear, as President Trump has decided to scrap Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, according to sources close to the President. The White House will, however, delay enforcement for six months, so as to give Congress time to act. If true, this is stellar news, a big win America and the rule of law—although nothing is set in stone until an official announcement is made.
DACA has long been seen by those vociferously opposed to illegal immigration as Obama’s greatest betrayal of the American people—it is de facto amnesty. For those not familiar with DACA, here is the run-down: DACA was an executive order signed by President Obama in June 2012 that allowed all illegal aliens who arrived in America before they were aged 16 to apply for legal work permits, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, and made them eligible for earned income tax credits. Enrollment must be renewed every two years.
Since 2012, nearly 800,000 illegal aliens have taken advantage of DACA. Most of them were adults. Essentially, DACA grants participants the rights and privileges normally associated with legal entry into America: it is renewable amnesty. The dangers of DACA are manifold and (should be) self-evident, but they are worth revisiting in light of recent events—if only to strengthen our resolve.
Perhaps the biggest problem with DACA is that it undermines the rule of law—and no, I am not simply referring to the entropy caused by fact that DACA grants legal status to those who have none—the problem is even more fundamental. In signing DACA, President Obama overstepped the bounds of his authority, and violated the sacrosanct division of powers as laid out in the Constitution. DACA was, and is a usurpation of legislative power, it is a knife in Congress’ back.
This Republic was constructed according to a number of axioms, one being that different arms of government have different parts to play, and that each arm checks and balances the others. Congress is the seat of legislative authority, they make, amend, and repeal laws; they have power over the purse. The office of the President is the seat of executive authority; the President enforces the law and serves as our Commander-in-Chief (in addition to having a number of atavistic powers inherited from the British Crown for convenience’s sake).
President Obama signed DACA because Congress was unwilling to legislate on the subject—as was their prerogative. The President does not have the right to great stop-gap legislation like DACA, and the fact the DACA has remained this long is a testament to Congress’ weakness. Ironically, even Obama was, at least theoretically, aware of this. In 2011 Obama himself said “for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.” America agrees.
Trump must scrap DACA to restore some semblance of balance to our government.
Another major problem with DACA is that it created an enormous incentive for people to enter America illegally—as might be expected with any other form of amnesty. DACA sends a clear message to the millions or poor who would migrate to America: beat our border guards in a game of red-rover and we will (eventually) let you stay. Amnesty is not a solution, it is part of the problem—it transforms America into a giant lure.
The evidence for this is overwhelming: it is no secret that DACA caused an unprecedented spike in youth migration into America. Likewise, consider that Reagan’s 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which granted 2.7 million people legal status, sparked the beginnings of the greatest tidal wave of illegal immigration in this nation’s history. Now compare this to the approach President Eisenhower took when he deported nearly 3 million illegal migrants: no more came for some thirty years.
Incentives matter. DACA is counter-productive: it simply creates more of the problem it is designed to address.
Finally, President Trump is right to scrap DACA on economic grounds. Why? It all comes down to supply and demand. Consider the apple market: if the supply of apples increases, what happens? The price of apples goes down. What happens if a stiff frost kills off most the apples, leading to a shortage? The price of applies rises since there are fewer apples to go around.
Labor markets work the same way: more workers means lower wages, fewer workers means higher wages. DACA adds some 720,000 legal workers into America’s market—these people compete with American workers, driving down wages and increasing unemployment rates. This is axiomatic: even the pro-DACA Cato Institute acknowledges this fact, saying that American companies will begin “recruiting, hiring, and training” Americans to fill the void.
Theory aside, the evidence for this fact is overwhelming. For example, before Hurricane Harvey President Trump’s crackdown on illegal aliens had already caused wages for construction workers to rise by 30 percent (half of Texas’ construction workers were illegal aliens). In light of recent events, their wages will likely rise even higher—but we can still attribute a significant portion of said rise to labor market constrictions.
Likewise, towns in Maine were forced to hire American workers after the availability of visas for temporary foreign workers declined. What happened? Unemployment decreased, wages increased, and working conditions improved in order to attract American workers—all good things. Illegal labor has completely undermined America’s labor markets, and hurt the bulk of our population; the only people benefiting are the very rich. Illegal immigration is bad for the economy: this is an empirical fact, not a point of contention.
For five long years DACA has enshrined the rights of illegal aliens, and put them above those of American citizens: it is a slap in the face to Congress, the rule of law, and the common man. President Trump’s decision to scrap DACA, if he follows through, will likely go down as one of the highlights of his presidency.