Virginia’s Senators, Rep. Connolly Denounce Trump Decision to End DACA Policy

by Dave Emke September 5, 2017 at 2:45 pm 45 Comments

An announcement Tuesday morning from the Trump Administration that it will be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy has elicited spirited response from Virginia’s Democratic delegation in Congress.

DACA, implemented by President Barack Obama in 2012, allows nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants living in the United States to apply for renewable two-year visas. It is available to individuals who arrived in the United States before the year 2007 who were under the age of 16 at the time of arrival and under the age of 31 at the time of implementation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement Tuesday morning on behalf of the Administration. Afterward, both of Virginia’s senators released statements of outrage on their Twitter accounts. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) says the decision is “heartless.”

The DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act has been introduced several times in Congress in recent years. The current version was introduced in July by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). It would institute a multi-phase process for qualifying alien minors (so-called “DREAMers”) in the United States that would first grant conditional residency and, upon meeting further qualifications, permanent residency.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), in his statement, said DACA is a “promise” that has allowed children of undocumented immigrants to “realize their full potential.”

In a statement released following Sessions’ remarks, President Donald Trump said DACA has “helped spur a humanitarian crisis — the massive surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America including, in some cases, young people who would become members of violent gangs throughout our country, such as MS-13.”

The decades-long failure of Washington, D.C. to enforce federal immigration law has had both predictable and tragic consequences: lower wages and higher unemployment for American workers, substantial burdens on local schools and hospitals, the illicit entry of dangerous drugs and criminal cartels, and many billions of dollars a year in costs paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Yet few in Washington expressed any compassion for the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system. Before we ask what is fair to illegal immigrants, we must also ask what is fair to American families, students, taxpayers, and jobseekers.

Trump said existing work permits will be honored until their date of expiration. He also said that applications already in the pipeline will still be processed, and so will renewal applications for those facing near-term expiration.

“This is a gradual process, not a sudden phase out,” the President said. “Permits will not begin to expire for another six months, and will remain active for up to 24 months.”

In his statement on the decision to end the program, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) says it is a “moral outrage” that attacks people who have been “creating jobs, serving in our military [and] teaching our children.”

In Richmond, Gov. Terry McAuliffe also said the decision is “an attack on the fabric of our nation [that] makes us less safe and hurts our economy.”

Trump said that “enforcement priorities [will] remain unchanged, and that he has “advised the Department of Homeland Security that DACA recipients are not enforcement priorities unless they are criminals, are involved in criminal activity, or are members of a gang.”

  • Scott

    1. Feelings have nothing to do with the law.
    2. DACA is an unconstitutional executive order. It is lawless as the President cannot unilaterally change the laws on the books.
    3. Congress should change the law if this is an outrage
    4. After Barack Obama’s election, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency. Protecting “DREAMers” (aka illegal aliens) was not a priority of Democrats when they could do whatever they wanted.
    5. DACA is a wedge issue to create turmoil. You are being used to avoid looking at real issues. The tweeters above know this. Virtue-signalling by a law maker is them skirting their job duties.
    6. Either the US is a sovereign nation or it isn’t. However sympathetic someone may be, we are a nation of laws and laws were broken. There must be standards of enforcement or we cease to exist as a nation.

    • OldButSlow

      So all executive orders are unconstitutional and illegal?

      • Scott

        No. But this one is.
        I don’t know how old and slow you are, but it is apparent you do not understand the Separation of Powers between branches or what the purpose or an Executive Order is. Please go ahead and do a little Googling on the topic. The President is not a king and cannot usurp the power of Congress,,,whoops, there. I answered it for you.

        • OldButSlow

          Excellent to know. I’ll call the EPA and the Dept of Interior and all the other agencies to let them know that all the executive orders since Jan 20 are illegal. How about policy by tweet? Is that illegal?

          Oh, and since you apparently get to decide which executive orders are legal and which ones aren’t (I’m inferring that from your first line above), are YOU the king?

          • Paul

            You make no sense. Obama issued an Executive Order, Trump pulled it back, that’s all. How do you get to “So all executive orders are unconstitutional and illegal?” from Trump taking the same power as Obama did?

          • OldButSlow

            I was talking about executive orders Trump has issued, not ones he has rescinded. If executive orders are, by definition, unconstitutional, then rescinding them was clearly the right thing to do. That means, however that Trump supporters who cheer getting rid of Obama era or older rules based on executive order are therefore obliged to oppose Trump issuing executive orders to promote his agenda. Consistency would be to say that they are wrong no matter who issues them.

          • Scott

            One more time.
            EOs are a legal thing.
            EOs that create law are not. Law making is the job of the Congress and Congress only.

            EOs are meant for administrative guidance. It might be the President instructing the federal bueaucracy on how to implement a policy or provide guidance on how to prepare for a gov shutdown, for instance.
            Now please stop your ignorant partisan rambling b/c you are the only one playing this game.

          • OldButSlow

            Scott, buddy, calm down. Nothing I have written is partisan. I’m merely questioning your right to be the arbiter of what is legal and what is not. I didn’t realize I was dealing with such a renowned legal mind.

            Believe it or not, I understand the notion of EOs pretty well and don’t require your explanation.

            And I certainly don’t require your rudeness and insults. I am partisan, but was not in my postings this time. I am, in fact, ignorant about lots of things, but not this stuff.

          • Scott

            Nice try at backtracking “old buddy.” Your partisanship is obvious and overwhelming. FTR, nothing makes me the arbiter and I never claimed to be. It’s just that, any remedial understanding of the Constitution and govt makes it obvious. Even President Obama noted in a dozen occasions that he didn’t have the power to implement DACA, before he decided to take the unconstitutional action. And seriously, if you had ANY understanding of such matters, we would not be having this conversation.
            If you think DACA is legal, then relish in imagining what Donald Trump will do with the power to create law himself.

          • The Constitutionalist

            Say it like this so he understands:

            Nice tryeth at backtracking “old buddy. ” thy partisanship is gross in sense and ov’rwhelming. Ftr, nothing maketh me the arbit’r and i nev’r claim’d to beest. T’s just yond, any remedial und’rstanding of the condition and govt maketh t gross in sense. Coequal president obama did note in a dozen occasions yond that gent didn’t has’t the pow’r to implementeth daca, bef’re that gent hath decided to taketh the unconstitutional action. And s’riously, if ‘t be true thee hadst any und’rstanding of such matt’rs, we wouldst not beest having this conv’rsation.
            if ‘t be true thee bethink daca is legal, then relish in imagining what Donald Trump shall doth with the pow’r to maketh law himself

          • Scott

            I’m sorry you don’t understand the Constitution. That’s not my problem. I’m no fan of Trump, and politics has nothing to do with my position on the law and willing to be honest about it. DACA created law and that is not constitutional. End of story. that has nothing to do with my opinion of immigration or the relative worth to this particular subset of illegal aliens.

  • LeftSideOfHistory

    Sounds like the left is a big fan of human trafficking. I mean who cares if you’re breaking the law, it’s for the greater good right?

    • Scott

      Greater good = more Democrat voters?

  • Greendayer

    The previous administration’s policy of not enforcing the laws was not going to work. Trump has properly put this in the court of Congress where it belongs. This is the responsibility of elected legislators, not bureaucrats. Kaine and Warner are politicking, but they know the role of the Executive branch is to execute the laws passed by Congress, not to make laws.
    This is good news for everyone.

  • US of China ☆

    The race for global GDP works better with an improved head count

    • OldButSlow

      For better or worse, that is exactly right. Germany took all the Syrians and others two years ago because Germany has a declining population. A declining population means nobody to pay benefits for the old who no longer work. And entire industries were on the verge of disappearance because young Germans weren’t interested in that kind of work. The refugees who settled there are. That last part should sound familiar to Americans. A perfect example is Houston today. Who, exactly, is going to do the dirty work of cleaning the city up

      • “Health Care”

        Severe blowback from the opium wars and marijuana drug polivy arent exactly helping either

        As an employer (and coworker) who wants a junkie in the workforce? Child labor ok.

      • Oy

        If you think Syrians are going to pay the pensions in Germany, or represent a net economic benefit of any kind, you are truly deluded. Refugees in Germany are going to COST a fortune, not create a fortune.

        Moreover, a country and a culture is more than just a “big giant economic unit”. If Japan’s GDP “stagnates” but Japan remains Japanese, that is a good thing from the perspective of Japanese people who like Japan.

        • OldButSlow


          Again, a discussion of culture is a different discussion. The economic facts, however, are that Germany needed those immigrants to keep its economy where it is and growing, and Japan is in trouble because it is losing population. Ask any Japanese economist or businessperson.

          I’m not talking about whatever anyone believes about “national characteristics,” whatever they are; I’m talking about economic growth as a discrete measurement.

          Every serious expert believes that the refugee influx will help the German economy (and most Germans believe this, too) long-term. Germany also has some experience with this, as the country now has millions of ethnic Turkish Germans who were permitted to stay in Germany not because of some misguided liberal multicultural agenda but because they made Germany richer.

          Our experience with immigrants, including the millions of illegal ones we have now, is exactly the same. Our economy benefits from it. As it has since your ancestors and mine came here.

          • Oy

            Germany needed those immigrants to keep its economy where it is and
            growing, and Japan is in trouble because it is losing population

            Those are both highly questionable assumptions.

            Every serious expert believes that the refugee influx will help the German economy (and most Germans believe this, too) long-term.

            Absolute nonsense.

            Our experience with immigrants, including the millions of illegal ones we have now, is exactly the same. Our economy benefits from it.

            If you seriously believe ANY advanced economy benefits from the importation of Third World peasants, we really have nothing to say to each other.

      • 40yearsinreston

        Actually there were few Syrian refugees
        Most were army draft dodgers, south asians and Iraqi’s
        Germany kept a few but offloaded the ones they didn’t want onto the rest of the EU

      • ErikKengaard

        Let Houston revert to nature.

      • ErikKengaard

        Nothing has done more to diminish the quality of life for the US middle class through higher housing (land) costs, competition for jobs, low wages, greater poverty, mortgage fraud, medicare fraud, crime, disease, cost of public schools, cost of college, depletion of resources, burden on the taxpayer and overall congestion than the INCREASE of and change in the nature (more poor, more criminals, e pluribus multum) of the POPULATION since 1965, driven almost entirely by entry of alien migrants and their descendants (immigrants, h1b visa holders, visa overstays, refugees, etc)

        • OldButSlow

          Reading the first half of what you wrote, I thought you were going to place the blame for those ills where it belongs– at the feet of the wealthiest Americans, who are responsible for all those problems yet still get amazing benefits (of all kinds) from the government.

          Instead, you chose the factually barren and entirely discredited notion that immigration is the source of those problems. Yes, perhaps immigration two or three centuries ago, but not immigration since 1965.

          Put simply, the facts disprove every aspect of your argument, and they are facts, not opinions.

          • ErikKengaard

            Please share some of your facts.

          • ErikKengaard

            Actually, I don’t blame the immigrants, I cite increased population as the problem, and I agree with you in blaming the elite for passing Hart-Celler, and for defeating efforts to limit population increasing immigration.

          • ErikKengaard

            OK – provide me with some “facts” that disprove the fact that increased population caused an increase in real prices of homes.

        • DACA is dead, long live DACA

          I think the counter argument here is that the US is a land of immigrants and will always be. 1965 is not the cut off point and neither is 2017.

          Immigration laws have and always will be broken for any number of reasons (wealth, athletic accomplishments, in this case age).

          Quite frankly, I dont see a solution to this problem. Simply by comparison the US, Canada and Mexico should be one economic region just like the EU. That calls for certain standards that cannot be compromised. Immigration should be one of them.

          In the race for global GDP its clear that Canada for example has already been compromised as China has significant control of mining and other sectors. The same is true for the US, eg textile industry.

          The question now, which industries are worth protecting and where does DACA stand in relation to that? The answer is not clear and since these things change over an election cycle its not even worth pursuing them by crafting new laws. Hence EO, the new norm in making stuff happen.

          • ErikKengaard

            Land of immigrants, except for 1924 – 1965, and some earlier periods.

            “The three decades . . . from the mid forties to the mid seventies, were the golden age of manual labor.” Why were times so good for blue collar workers? To some extent they were helped by the state of the world economy. They were also helped by a scarcity of labor created by the severe immigration restrictions imposed by the Immigration Act of 1924.” Paul Krugman, Conscience of a Liberal, Chapter 3 (pages 48-49)

    • ErikKengaard

      GDP is the 1%.
      ” the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.” Robert Kennedy at University of Kansas, March 18, 1968

      • Fact

        He was assassinated.

      • OldButSlow

        You are completely right about this. My comment said very specifically that this is a different argument, however. A discussion of those issues and values, which necessarily evolve over time, is a different discussion than a discussion about economic growth.

  • OldButSlow

    How old was the first lady when she came to the US to work illegally? I know she was young but I’m guessing she was older than the age covered by DACA and thus is not eligible for the phase out period announced today. In any case, I imagine she’ll somehow avoid the fate of her fellow dreamers.

    It’s funny how Trump supporters don’t mention her when they get so worked up about people coming to our country to live and work illegally.

    • Tom

      Her skin is the wrong color. That’s why they don’t get so worked up.

      • Scott

        Focusing on skin color is the definition of racism Tom. Why are you always focusing on skin color Tom? Are you a racist?

    • Scott

      Wrong is wrong, but just to be clear, here are the facts.
      -She came to the US LEGALLY on Aug. 27, 1996, on a B1/B2 visitor visa.
      -She obtained an H-1B work visa on Oct. 18, 1996.
      -From Sept 10 – Oct 15 she took 7 modeling jobs and was paid about $20K.

      So, right is right and wrong is wrong, and she was wrong, but are you really trying to draw some equivalence between doing some work for 7 weeks while waiting for visa paperwork and illegally entering the US and remaining here, ILLEGALLY, for decades? Any statute of limitations surely, is long expired on her, while illegal aliens, by definition are still breaking US law every day.
      Melania came here during the Clinton administration in ’96 and became a citizen in 2001. She is a US Citizen. Even with the revelation that she should not have worked during that 7 week period, the US govt only ever revokes citizenship status in the most egregious circumstances and this hardly rates. Your premise and assertion are laughable. Again, you demonstrate that have no grasp of these issues.

      • OldButSlow

        This happens to be an issue I have a pretty good grasp of after quite a few decades working on it. Please don’t tell me what I don’t know. I have never accused you of not knowing something. I let you demonstrate that yourself.

      • OldButSlow

        “I never thought to stay here without papers. I had visa. I travel every few months back to the country to Slovenia to stamp the visa. I came back. I applied for the green card. I applied for the citizenship later on.”

        That’s a quote from our first lady. Holders of H-1B visas do not need to leave the country or, in some cases, return home to get a new visa every few months. Holders of B1/B2 visas do.

        So she is right that a visa allowed her to be in the U.S. legally. It sounds like the visa she had– which required going home to renew it– did not allow her to work in this country legally.

        Thus her quote does not match a timeline of only seven weeks of working illegally. Perhaps she didn’t mean what she said or got confused. It is, however, what she said on more than one occasion.

        And you are surely right that a statute of limitations or subsequent citizenship almost always erases a minor transgression like this. But there is a principle involved. Just as there is a principle involved in punishing kids for being brought here illegally by their parents.

        • Scott

          Seriously dude. You are embarrassing yourself. The timeline I posted was from the Washington Post and the expose that was done on melania’s visa just before the election. It took me 90 seconds to find that yesterday on Google. I know Google is hard, but still. This is where I won’t tell you what you don’t know…again.

  • John Smith

    Democrats are really furious. They had the chance to fix it and make sure they kept a large voter base. Shame they cant work together and present an end game

  • IllegallyLivingInReston

    Immigrants are actually good and commit crimes at a rates under the national average. Children are not illegal, unless you truly believe in the sins of your father. “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so”-Jefferson

  • RestonAssurance

    Never jog alone as a lady. Never. Ever. No matter where. Then, jog while packing. Always.

  • ErikKengaard

    The realities underlying the immigration debate are that we have more than enough people, more than enough imported poor people (see The Characteristics of Unauthorized Immigrants in California, Los Angeles County, and the United States by Karina Fortuny et al; the February 9, 2006 report by the California Legislative Analysts Office (LAO) on efficacy of border police; the Analysis of the California 2001-02 Budget Bill by the LAO), and more than enough imported criminals (read about Jamiel Shaw, Kate Steinle, Juan Francisco De Luna Vasquez, ); consider the disproportionate medicare fraud, food stamp fraud, and mortgage fraud by recent arrivals from cultures in which crime and fraud are normal – look up Glendale medicare fraud).

  • ErikKengaard

    Politics by Other Means, The Why of Immigration to the United States, and Immigration and Usurpation: Elites, Power, and the People’s Will, both by Fredo Arias-King. Those who are dependent on government are more likely to vote democrat, and democrats are more likely to effect policies that increase dependence.

    • OldButSlow

      It’s a pretty nonsensical notion, with all respect to Mr. Arias-King. First of all, how’s that sneaky plan working for the Democrats? Second, the idea that dependence on government increases under Democrats at any level is silly. No health care, for example, means more emergency room visits that end up being paid for by the government– and ambulance rides and emergency room care cost a lot more than health maintenance via doctor visits paid by insurance. Ask the people of Kentucky, a place that votes solidly Republican, about that. Or count the military contractors that are your neighbors and ask if they are not dependent on government, and even more lavishly during Republican administrations. Dependence on the government comes in many forms and at many price tags.


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