Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
There seems to be a misconception of what DACA is supposed to be, at least there is one person who seems to be confused (Letter: “Democrats change tune on border”, Jan. 29 by Frank Aquila).
Either Aquila has no idea what the DACA program is all about or he is deliberately trying to confuse the issue. I would have to assume both since he doesn’t even bother to mention DACA, which is the central issue of the Democratic stance on immigration obstacles which need to be addressed by Congress prior to March 5. Instead he goes off on immigration issues which are pretty much agreed on by both parties except for the ludicrous giant wall that, according to Trump, Mexico is going to pay for.
Aquila must understand there is a consensus on all these other Immigration issues since he even went so far as to quote every Democratic leader he could remember agreeing on them all. The narrative he is trying to push is that “all” Democrats are in favor of illegal immigration. This is, of course an absurd argument with no basis in fact.
Here are the facts:
1. How did that March 5 date come to be? President Obama approved the program in 2012 after unsuccessful efforts in Congress to pass a measure that would allow children of undocumented immigrants brought into the country illegally to avoid deportation. Trump then rescinded the program giving Congress until March 5 to come up with a bipartisan solution.
2. Just before the shutdown, Sen. Durbin (D) and Sen Graham (R) met with Trump and presented him with their bipartisan agreement. Trump first accepted it, then the following day tweeted against it. This was just days after Trump met with Congressional leaders and publicly announced to everyone in the room, including the press that he would sign “any” bill Congress sent him. Then came the DACA shutdown which the Democrats caved on after getting a concession on the proposal Republicans offered to fund for six months a popular child health care program and a promises from Mitch McConnell to bring up a clean DACA bill next. (A lie, of course).
3. So contrary to Aquila’s claim, the shutdown wasn’t about illegal immigration but on a solution to the DACA issue. So who are these DACA recipients and how did they qualify to be in the DACA program? DACA recipients are children brought over the border by their parents and have been living here for years, now serving in the military, going to college or college grads working jobs, paying taxes some with children of their own. (Did you know who was the first soldier killed in Iraq? Look it up, it may surprise you).
4. So how did DACA recipients qualify to be in the program? Well here are the rules:
uWere under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
uCame to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
uHave continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
uWere physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
uHad no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
uAre currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
uHave not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
So those are the facts, President Obama said it best: “It’s a political decision, and a moral question,” “Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us.”