The Misguided ‘Principles’ That Use DACA Recipients As A Bargaining Chip

Trump adviser Stephen Miller has been a lead proponent for proposed changes to public programs that could disqualify immigrants from obtaining green cards. (Photo/Gage Skidmore)

Steve Miller, the author of the original and very unconstitutional Muslim Ban, is circulating a draft set of “principles” for a legislative fix for those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The McClatchy news organization says Miller’s “principles” view any protections for those with DACA as a bargaining chip given in exchange for dramatically anti-immigrant legislation. Miller is the White House aide most associated with the White Nationalist wing of Trump’s supporters.

Miller’s memo is a laundry list of the darkest wishes of the Alt-Right. It envisions eliminating protections for unaccompanied children from Central America and the hiring of 10,000 additional immigration enforcement agents. It also calls for making it harder for refugees to apply for asylum and humanitarian parole programs. Legal immigration would be cut by raising the fees immigrant pay for their applications and reducing family-based immigration.

The “principles” would also mandate employers use the E-Verify system before hiring new employees, according to the New York Times.

With Donald Trump ending DACA on March 5, 2018, Congress is rapidly running out of time to enact legislation before 8,000 young immigrants per week begin losing their work authorization. President Trump himself called on Congress to act.

On September 14, he tweeted, “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military?” and claimed that he was working with Democrats to reach a deal to protect those with DACA.

Now it looks like Trump’s White House is merely using the human catastrophe he created by blowing up DACA to bludgeon Congressional Democrats into enacting even more draconian anti-immigrant measures. These are “poison pills’ that would destroy any chance that a permanent solution for DACA youth will be enacted. The only good news may be that the Trump administration is so chaotic that some in Congress are not even sure if Miller’s “principles” even reflect the views of the president.

The path ahead for DACA legislation is so confused that even if something is done, it is likely to be many months away. This makes it all the more important that those whose DACA expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 renew before the October 5 deadline.

Renewals filed now should be sent via Priority Mail Overnight Service by October 4 in order to arrive by the deadline.

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