There are four kinds of people on a shooting range.
There’s the steady people who say “Ready, Aim, Fire!” There’s the guy who says, “Ready, Fire! Aim….oops.” There’s the cautious person who says, “Ready, Aim….oh wait, wait. Ready, Aim…..Ready, Aim.” And then there’s the guy who says, “Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!”
If these four types of people represented the U.S. government, Congress would be the “Ready, Aim….oh wait” person. When it comes to immigration reform and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, both former President Obama and President Trump are like the “Fire! Fire! Fire!” person on the shooting range. As the chief member of the executive branch, that’s kind of the president’s job.
No matter your party, I think we can all agree that immigration needs to change in the U.S. We all want the U.S. to be a great place for women and children who are seeking refuge from abuse, hard workers who are seeking jobs, and diverse people who will add to our nation’s melting pot of culture. We shouldn’t have to wonder whether our law enforcement is on the same page as our federal government. We shouldn’t have to worry about our friends being deported. People shouldn’t have to break the law to come to our beautiful country.
What we need is a creative solution. But honestly, when was the last time Congress passed meaningful immigration reform?
The DACA program was Obama’s way of saying Congress was taking too long. Instead of waiting for Congress to pass immigration reform, he signed an executive order.
When Obama first announced the DACA order in 2012, he said it was “temporary relief from deportation proceedings.” He said, “Let’s be clear, this is not amnesty, this is not immunity, this is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stop-gap measure….Precisely because this is temporary, Congress needs to act.”
He essentially said “Fire!” hoping Congress would work together to come up with a well-aimed plan. But that didn’t happen. In a way, it just made it easier for Congress to procrastinate.
It’s like when your teacher gives you a later deadline on your paper. Do you start working on the paper now? No, you wait until the last minute to do it.
Now Trump is saying “Fire!,” but this time pushing Congress to a hard deadline. His decision to pull the plug on the program may seem heartless, but he seems to be willing to appear that way if it means pushing Congress to action.
This is a chance for Congress to do something better than DACA, maybe something that will help not only those brought to the U.S. illegally as children, but also their families. It may be a chance for Congress to reform immigration in a way that benefits future immigrants, current undocumented immigrants and local law enforcement.
Instead of griping at Trump for repealing the order, we should call upon our Congress to do what neither president could do.