Democrats should compromise on immigration so as to save the Dreamers

The first serious discussion on immigration in years is taking place on the Senate floor as the promised debate goes ahead.

The Democrats have much to lose, more than the Republicans who have cleverly boxed them in.

The essential bill appears to be a path to citizenship for DACA in return for money for the border wall, an end to chain migration and a set aside of the visa lottery in favor of merit visas.

In truth, the Democrats have nowhere to go if they oppose this. The DACA kids are being held hostage by Trump but the Democrats should not pass over the decent provision to count 1.1 million of them and open a path to citizenship. They have suffered enough.

In policy making the perfect is the enemy of the good and the need to clear up the nightmare for the DACA kids should be the Dems overall objective.

Read more: Trump administration ramps up push for restrictive immigration reform

Chain migration has proved to be an ineffective system with applicants left waiting for over a decade 

An end to the wait for citizenship must come soon for the Dreamers. Image: iStock.

An end to the wait for citizenship must come soon for the Dreamers. Image: iStock.

Trump has also promised an end to chain migration (which offers him the strange opportunity to deport Melania Trump’s parents who she brought in after she became legal).

Chain migration is actually an incredibly ineffective system. The brothers and sisters of US citizens are waiting up to 13 years to be processed as are other relatives. The system is broken.

Likewise, the visa lottery has become farcical with huge numbers from populated countries such as Pakistan and India utterly overwhelming the chances of smaller nations to be winners.

Given all that, merit migration is such an obvious opportunity that it is hard to see why it should be opposed. Yet the Democrats hesitate.

Ross Douthat, New York Times columnist, stated the facts baldly when he wrote recently.: “...liberalism has gone a little bit insane on immigration, digging into a position that any restrictions are ipso facto racist, and any policy that doesn't take us closer to open borders is illegitimate and un-American."

The US would not be the only nation favoring English-speaking immigrants

The American Dream is not working with the current immigration system. Image: iStock.

The American Dream is not working with the current immigration system. Image: iStock.

It does seem the left has lost its way on immigration. Britain, Australia, Canada all favor English-speaking graduates who immediately contribute to the economy. Trump is suggesting that some visas be set aside similarly for the United States.

DACA must be resolved but a clause giving hope to Ireland and other European countries to have some access to America should not be a threat to anyone.

There is no question that up to 1965 the immigration system was racist and worked only for a chosen few European countries, including Ireland.

But 1965 tipped the balance way too far in the other direction, a fact Senator Edward Kennedy acknowledged when he stated there was no intent in the original bill he drafted to exclude Ireland and other European countries.

It should always be remembered that Dreamers are not to blame for their immigration status

A Dreamer protests. Image: iStock.

A Dreamer protests. Image: iStock.

Read more: Irish woman creates “I am an immigrant” buttons to combat US anti-immigrant rhetoric

One can understand the suspicion and anger on the DACA side after President Obama promised them immunity from deportation. They are all victims of a cruel fate. Show us the DACA baby who decided to break the law and come to America when an infant. Of course, it was their parent’s decision.

Now, in the time of Trump, they are unwilling participants in a game of chicken. The advice from here to the Dems is to give the DACA kids their freedom from fear at all costs. Sure it will be seen as a victory for the GOP but so what? The hopes and dreams of a million or so DACA immigrants depend on the passage of a new law. They should not be denied. America needs to be that Ronald Reagan “shining city on a hill” again, the beacon of hope. Legalizing DACA would restore part of the tarnished reputation.

What are your thoughts on US immigration reform? Let us know in the comments section, below. 

Democrats should compromise on immigration so as to save the Dreamers.iStock