Judge Andrew Hanen’s ruling this week issuing a temporary injunction to the expanded DACA and new DAPA programs announced as part of the President’s concrete steps to alleviate our current dysfunctional immigration system is nothing more than a political kneejerk reaction to the Administration’s efforts.
Congress has been unable to pass any legislative reform of our immigration laws despite laudable efforts by the Senate in 2013 when they presented the House with a bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill to address the three major components of immigration reform: (1) strengthening enforcement, (2) addressing undocumented immigrants already in the US, and (3) improvement of our legal immigration process.
Obstructionists to real reform of our immigration laws have called Judge Hanen’s decision a “victory on the rule of law”; but nothing could be further from the truth. The only ones victorious in this are restrictionists for whom sensible, reasonable measures are anathema. The ruling sadly diverts attention from the true state of affairs – the inability of our Congress to provide real solutions for our broken immigration system.
In the past weeks, Congress appears to have set aside working on legislation that would tangibly address our immigration challenges in a balanced and commonsense manner. We can’t take that inaction lying down. We must continue to pressure our lawmakers to take concrete steps to address the unworkable myriad of contradictory and outdated immigration laws on our books, laws that stifle entrepreneurship, hurt our economy, and separate families. The DACA and DAPA programs did nothing more than properly direct the agency to maximize and intelligently implement prosecutorial actions to better align our nation’s security by prioritizing the removal of those who truly are a danger.
The lawsuit against DAPA and DACA is a waste of taxpayer funds, intended to obstruct programs that would provide real tangible benefits to individuals, communities and our economy at large. It is short-sighted and ineffective. A plethora of economic studies have substantiated data that the DACA program initiated in June of 2012 has brought economic prosperity and security to both individuals and communities. DACA and DAPA are supported by law enforcement officials around the country because they will help ensure enforcement is smarter, more efficient, and economical.
Politics must be left at the door, lawmakers must roll up their sleeves and work on providing real solutions to our immigration laws that will ensure our nation’s competitiveness, recognize the contribution of immigrants, and protect our borders. Sadly the ruling does none of those things. Congress must act.
Written by Annaluisa Padilla, AILA Second Vice President