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President offered amnesty and path forward with DACA

A recent opinion piece appeared in the Idaho Business Review where the author made many claims regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (commonly known as DACA), immigration, and naturally, President Trump.

The piece was written by Detroit-based immigration attorney Henry E. Ibe. In the article, Mr. Ibe was very clear about one thing: President Trump and his administration do not have the DACA recipients, and by extension our country’s, best interests at heart.

When I posed the question, “How is a politically polarized article that attempts to be critical of our president relevant to Idaho business owners?”, the answer came back that many businesses, especially in the agri-business community, are concerned with the plight of DACA and immigrant workers, whether of legal or illegal status.

Fair enough; certain businesses are worried their labor pool could be negatively affected by whatever is ultimately decided on DACA and immigration policy. I get that. But was that the focus of Mr. Ibe’s article? Not even remotely. Rather, the article was almost exclusively an attempt to label our president (and his administration) bigoted and racist.

I would encourage readers to pick up an April 13th edition of the Idaho Business Review and decide for themselves or read the column on the IBR website here.

Regardless, if businesses are wishing there was a way for current DACA recipients to continue to live and work in America, they need look no further than the DACA proposal Trump put before Congress in January. Trump’s offer would have provided amnesty and a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million DACA qualifiers—more than twice the 800,000 being negotiated for when Democrats shut down the government for three days demanding a workable solution on DACA.

Most have probably forgotten what Trump’s January DACA proposal entailed, but here are some quick facts:

  • Amnesty and a path to citizenship for 700,000 current DACA recipients
  • Amnesty and a path to citizenship for 1.1 million immigrants who have not applied for DACA, but do qualify for it
  • Preserved “chain migration” for children and spouses
  • $25 billion for the southern border wall
  • An end to the visa lottery program

The president sat down for an interview with CNBC on January 25th, the morning his DACA offer was first introduced. He said: “I will consider that [the passing of the proposal] a great achievement to solving the DACA problem. These are good people. These are people that should be able to stay in this country.”

Citizenship for all 1.8 million DACA qualifiers and the preservation of chain migration for immigrant spouses and children are not the policies of a president, who, as Mr. Ibe sweepingly described him, “opposes immigration.”

Long story short, Trump’s DACA offer was killed in the senate by Democrat “no” votes. Those who rejected it did so claiming the proposal had too many concessions, such as the funding for the southern border wall, and the termination of the visa lottery program. But, at the end of the day, Trump’s proposal still provided amnesty and a path to citizenship for all Dreamers, both present and future. So why did Democrats reject it? Perhaps they were holding out, hoping to gamble for an even larger number of illegal immigrants in some hypothetical future deal. But that would beg the question, who in government is really, as Mr. Ibe put it, “using the lives of Dreamers as bargaining chips”?

Mr. Ibe concluded his article by stating that now is the time to act (by voting), because, (he quoted JFK) if good men do nothing, evil will triumph. Remarkably, Mr. Ibe seems to have forgotten that a holistic DACA solution was already proposed — by President Trump, and the only people responsible for its failure have a blue “D” next to their name.

So, while I appreciate the author’s call to action among voters, those who are sympathetic toward the DACA Dreamers might have pause when considering which politicians are truly politically motivated, and which are acting in the best interests of Americans—Dreamers included.

Drew Barton is the co-founder and vice president of ESOPs of Idaho, LLC, a financial advisory firm in Boise. His expertise is primarily in utilizing ESOPs in business transition strategies.

About Drew Barton