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The difference between 'DACA' and 'Dreamers': A primer. By Nolan Rappaport

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The government shutdown ended Monday when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) promised to take up an immigration bill that would protect an estimated 800,000 Dreamers from deportation under an open amendment process, if the Democrats would agree to end the shutdown. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y) said that pledge was enough for his caucus to accept a three-week government funding bill, which passed on a vote of 81-18.

But what do the parties really intend to take up? A DACA-fix for the 690,000 current participants or a DREAM Act to provide a path to citizenship for 2.7 million undocumented aliens?

And who are the Dreamers?

DREAM Act advocates typically claim that Dreamers are undocumented immigrants who were brought here illegally as children and have grown up in America knowing nothing about their own countries, but that does not describe the eligibility requirements for the DREAM Act or for DACA.

DACA

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was established in June 15, 2012, when DHS announced that aliens who had been brought to the United States illegally as children and met other criteria would be considered for temporary lawful status with work authorization.

Read more at http://thehill.com/opinion/immigrati...amers-a-primer


Published originally on The Hill.

About the author. Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.

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  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Nolan makes a valid point that the population of people known as "DREAMERS" is larger than the number of DACA recipients. Certainly, clarity about which people, and how many, a legislative agreement on DACA recipients in particular or DREAMERS in general would benefit is to be desired in order to avoid uncertainty and confusion, as with any other immigration - related legislation.

    But there is one point which Nolan has left out. Analyzing the difference between DACA recipients and DREAMERS in general is of little or no significance as long as the president refuses to sign any bill that would help either DACA people or DREAMERS.

    Trump has on several occasions in the past two weeks, made clear beyond any possible misunderstanding that he will not sign any bill related to either DACA people or DREAMERS unless Congress agrees to major changes in our legal immigration system that would eliminate most family immigration and the diversity visa lottery.

    These two programs, especially family reunification, which the president and his supporters disparagingly call "chain migration" have helped to cause a major demographic shift over the past few decades in favor of making this country less white and more racially diverse.

    Trump now wants to reverse this trend, and favor immigrants from "countries like Norway" over immigrants from "shithole countries" of Africa or such as Haiti as the price agreeing to help DACA recipients or the DREAMERS.

    Neither immigration advocates or ordinary Americans of good will can possibly agree to undoing 50 years progress toward racial justice and equality in immigration law, which is in effect what Trump is asking for as part of a DACA or DREAMERS agreement.

    One could well point out that the issue of DACA/DREEAMERS and the issue of reducing legal immigration by eliminating two important visa categories are entirely separate and unrelated.

    This is, in theory, true. But the president and his supporters or advisers such as Senator Tom Cotton and Steve Miller, with their agenda of reducing non-white legal immigration, have brought these two seperate issues together. It makes no realistic sense to discuss them separately in the present environment.


    Therefore, writing about the difference between these two categories, as Nolan has done clearly and precisely, is a commendable intellectual exercise, but one which is entirely moot.

    For the latest example of the President's intransigence on this issue, see The Hill:

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administ...ead-on-arrival

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 01-23-2018 at 10:13 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    Nolan makes a valid point that the population of people known as "DREAMERS" is larger than the number of DACA recipients. Certainly, clarity about which people, and how many, a legislative agreement on DACA recipients in particular or DREAMERS in general would benefit is to be desired in order to avoid uncertainty and confusion, as with any other immigration - related legislation.
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs

    But there is one point which Nolan has left out. Analyzing the difference between DACA recipients and DREAMERS in general is of little or no significance as long as the president refuses to sign any bill that would help either DACA people or DREAMERS.

    Trump has on several occasions in the past two weeks, made clear beyond any possible misunderstanding that he will not sign any bill related to either DACA people or DREAMERS unless Congress agrees to major changes in our legal immigration system that would eliminate most family immigration and the diversity visa lottery.

    These two programs, especially family reunification, which the president and his supporters disparagingly call "chain migration" have helped to cause a major demographic shift over the past few decades in favor of making this country less white and more racially diverse.

    Trump now wants to reverse this trend, and favor immigrants from "countries like Norway" over immigrants from "shithole countries" of Africa or such as Haiti as the price agreeing to help DACA recipients or the DREAMERS.

    Neither immigration advocates or ordinary Americans of good will can possibly agree to undoing 50 years progress toward racial justice and equality in immigration law, which is in effect what Trump is asking for as part of a DACA or DREAMERS agreement.

    One could well point out that the issue of DACA/DREEAMERS and the issue of reducing legal immigration by eliminating two important visa categories are entirely separate and unrelated.

    This is, in theory, true. But the president and his supporters or advisers such as Senator Tom Cotton and Steve Miller, with their agenda of reducing non-white legal immigration, have brought these two seperate issues together. It makes no realistic sense to discuss them separately in the present environment.


    Therefore, writing about the difference between these two categories, as Nolan has done clearly and precisely, is a commendable intellectual exercise, but one which is entirely moot.

    For the latest example of the President's intransigence on this issue, see The Hill:

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administ...ead-on-arrival

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Roger, why do you expect Trump to go along with continuing the DACA program for 690,000 undocumented aliens without expecting major concessions in return? Eliminating the DACA program was one of his main campaign promises. He said he would do it the first day in office. And although you can be flippant about helping 690,000 undocumented aliens, I can assure you that Trump and the House republicans aren't. They think helping that many undocumented aliens would be a very big deal.

    But have it your way. The DACA participants probably don't read your blogs. In any case, they will never appear at your door and demand to know why you argued against making major concessions to help them.

    Enjoy yourself. Keep venting.

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 01-23-2018 at 11:17 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Again with the greatest respect for Nolan's distinguished reputation and record as an immigration law scholar and authority. his above comment is sidestepping the fundamental issue - namely the racial motivation for Trump's insistence on eliminating two legal immigration programs in order to make drastic reductions in legal immigration from outside Europe as the quid pro quo of a DACA or DREAMERS solution.

    Leaving out or avoiding any discussion of the racial aspect of this issue, or of Trump's immigration agenda in general, renders the
    discussion
    meaningless and beside the point, no matter how learned, authoritative or full of statistics any given comment might otherwise be.

    The issue is not whether there should be horsetrading and compromise in any kind of immigration-related legislation. Of course this is to be expected. But in this case, the kind of "compromise" that Trump and his supporters are demanding in return for a deal to help DACA people or DREAMERS is something that no one who cares about racial justice or racial equality in our immigration system can possibly agree to. This is not "horsetrading", "tit for tat" negotiation or "accommodating the other party's legitimate political objectives".

    This is presidential blackmail. It means holding the DREAMERS (or DACA recipients) hostage to a "Norway yes, Africa no" immigration agenda in a move backward toward reinstating a 1924-style US "Nordics-only" immigration regime which Adolf Hitler admired, but any reasonable observer today would regard as bigoted, because it closed off almost all US immigration to people who were not from northern Europe.

    These are historical facts which no one with the slightest knowledge of US immigration history can contradict.

    For additional perspective on the broader context and background of Trump's announced refusal to sign any law to help DREAMERS/DACA recipients without impossible concessions by immigration advocates toward the above racially discriminatory agenda, see alternet.org

    https://www.alternet.org/immigration...nment-shutdown

    And for an expanded discussion of my own views on this issue, which differ considerably from Nolan's, as can be seen from his remarks above, see my own ilw.com January 23 comment:

    http://blogs.ilw.com/entry.php?10346

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-24-2018 at 09:12 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    If I may be permitted one further observation on the topic of Nolan's above article, I would like to refer to a method of illustrating legal points which is commonly used by lawyers, and which I encountered almost constantly during my studies at Harvard Law School.

    This method involves raising hypothetical questions. Therefore I would offer the following hypothetical to illustrate my point about the motivation behind Trump's approach to the DACA and DREAMERS issue, not only in the negotiations which Nolan and I have been commenting on above, but in Trump's original decision to terminate President Obama's DACA initiative last September:

    Let us suppose that nearly 800,000 young people were brought to the United States illegally as children by parents who were all from Norway, Sweden, Ireland, the UK or other parts of northern Europe. In order to allow them to attend school or otherwise pursue their careers and to remain together with their families, including, in many cases, their US-born children or siblings, the president institutes a DACA-type program in order to protect these young people from any possible threat of deportation.

    Would this action be the subject of the controversy and heated discussion, the cries of "amnesty" and threats of lawsuits by various politicians, organizations and opinion makers and the furious demands to revoke this program, which is eventually cancelled by a different president?

    Of course not. This hypothetical DACA for white immigrants only would most likely be nothing more than a footnote buried somewhere in the federal register. No one would even notice it, let alone writing news stories or comments about it, such as in the cordial and respectful discussion that Nolan and I have been conducting above.

    Yes, to be sure, immigrants from Ireland or other European countries sometimes get caught up in Donald Trump's Deportation Dragnet too, giving new meaning to the expression: "collateral damage".

    But when they do, it causes headlines.

    See:

    Irish man brought to US as child to be deported from Boston


    https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-...ston-1.3365980

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law


    Updated 01-24-2018 at 11:14 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  5. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Roger says, "I would offer the following hypothetical to illustrate my point about the motivation behind Trump's approach to the DACA and DREAMERS issue,"

    That's just a rationalization for his ad hominem criticisms of Trump's policies. It reminds me of the federal judge who said there was nothing wrong with Trump's Tavel Ban but went on to say, but it was issued by Trump who is a bigot so the Travel Ban must be bad.

    If Trump is going to be judged that way, all of his actions will be condemned no matter what he does. That would be fine if we were judging Roger. It doesn't matter what people think of him (except perhaps to him), but when you treat the President of the United States that way, you jeopardize America's security, its reputation, its ability to work with other countries, and so on. A president who is ridiculed and insulted by his own people cannot represent America effectively in dealings with other countries.

    When you spit on our president, you are spitting on the United States.

    Nolan Rappaport
  6. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Nothing in my above comments involves any personal criticism of the president. I am only criticizing his immigration policies, frequently using his own words - either in speeches or tweets to millions of people, or as reliably reported in the media.

    It is true that many other people are questioning Trump's fitness for office or mental capacity, often with "Fire and Fury" while so doing, but Nolan will have a very hard time finding any such personally directed comments on my blogs or replies to his.

    If anyone is "spitting on America" it was the president himself, when he, according to numerous reliable reports referred to African countries and Haiti, many of which have friendly relations with the US and are important for security and/or economic reasons, as "shithole countries" whose citizens were allegedly, in his view, undesirable as immigrants to the US purely because of their nationality (which, throughout America's immigration history, as every immigration expert knows, has often been used as a substitute for race, religion or skin color in immigration discussions and even statutes).

    This comment, which is far from the only disparaging one that the president has made about various non-white foreign countries and their citizens, caused international outrage and did more to disgrace America than a thousand comments that I or any other private citizen could possibly make.

    If Nolan disagrees with my comments on the president's immigration policies, I cordially invite him to show where my statements are factually incorrect or why he believes my conclusions are wrong.

    That is what debate and discussion are about in a free country such as the United States of America, not whether they are supportive of that country's leader(s) or not, as in the case of some other countries I could mention.

    I look forward to continuing a friendly, respectful dialogue with Nolan on immigration law and policy issues, on which he is an undoubted and widely recognized authority. This dialogue, no doubt, may include some comments disagreeing with one or another of the president's immigration policies.

    In fact, I can promise that they will definitely do so, unless the president makes some fundamental changes in these policies, which according to abundant evidence coming from his own statements and actions, have been very largely motivated by racial considerations up to now.

    It is also true that some highly respected federal judges have, in their decisions, concluded or suggested that certain of Trump's immigration policies have been motivated by religious "animus" toward one particular immigrant group, Muslims. None of these decisions has called Trump a "bigot" or made any personal comment about Trump himself.

    If I am wrong about this, I would welcome it if Nolan can show me the exact citation or citations where any federal judge in a Muslim ban case made a personal comment about the president.

    They have only cited specific comments that Trump has made or actions that he has taken.

    Are these respected jurists, including judges appointed by presidents of both parties, "spitting on the president" too?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law


    Updated 01-24-2018 at 02:03 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  7. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Roger says, "Nothing in my above comments involves any personal criticism of the president. I am only criticizing his immigration policies, frequently using his own words."

    Roger has less awareness of what he is doing than anyone else I have every known. That makes meaningful discussion impossible.

    Nolan Rappaport
  8. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Even though Nolan might find it offensive when someone mentions the "R" word in a discussions of Trump's immigration policies or, as the the federal courts have done, uses a euphemism such as "animus", this is a reality that simply cannot be avoided, unless we are living in a country of censorship where no one is allowed to say anything negative about our Leader, "Dear Donald".

    We are not living in that kind of a country - yet.

    Nolan also says that "spitting on our president" is the same as "spitting on the United States".

    To the contrary, it is Trump's racist comments and actions that are tarnishing the image of the United States around the world.

    UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said the following about Trump's "shithole" remark:

    "There is no other word you can use but 'racist.' You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as 'shitholes' whose entire populations, who are not white, who are therefore not welcome.'"

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...untries-remark

    But Trump's racist remark, offensive as it is, is not even the main problem.

    The problem is that Trump is basing an entire immigration policy on the spirit of these comments- namely on the principle that only immigrants from white countries are welcome in the United States.

    Trump, and his supporters are now pushing hard for changes in the legal immigration system which would make immigration from the "shithole" non-white parts of the world that he so despises much more difficult, and favor immigration from Europe instead.

    These proposals include the RAISE Act, abolishing family immigration beyond the immediate family of one's spouse and minor children, and abolishing the Africa and Asia friendly Diversity Visa Lottery entirely.

    These are not just racist comments. They are racist policies.

    See, Jane Coaston, writing in vox.com on January 18 in her article:

    The scary ideology behind Trump's immigration instincts

    https://www.vox.com/2018/1/18/168973...mp-immigration

    After discussing the Bannon - Miller- Sessions-White House ideology that America's "culture" is allegedly threatened by immigration from non-white countries, Coaston writes about Trump's immigration policies as follows:

    "This has a direct impact on immigration policy, including current negotiations regarding DACA and discussions of so-called merit-based immigration."

    No matter how much Nolan might try to talk about DACA and other immigration issues without mentioning the racist ideology which underlies Trump's entire Weltanschauung (which can be translated as "world view" - a term that has been given new meaning by Trump's Norway vs. Africa comment!) on immigration, it is impossible to ignore the white supremacist basis of many, if not all, of Trump's immigration statements and actions to date.

    Roger
    Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-27-2018 at 10:06 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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