Rep. Andy Biggs: Here’s what trading DACA for border funding really means


I have heard some Republicans express support for trading DACA for $5 billion of border security. There are several problems that we can easily spot: the definition of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) population is unsettled and so is the amorphous term “border security.”

The most perplexing problem is the notion that such a deal will sanction illegal conduct, which will, in turn, lead to new constituencies who are similarly situated and will demand amnesty as well. The moral high ground that comes with respect for the rule of law will be lost, and we will surely see amnesty granted to a large number of illegal immigrants, on a frequent basis.

Here’s what I mean.

DACA refers to illegal immigrants. These were originally children brought or sent here illegally and who are now mostly adults. The “DA” part of DACA refers to “deferred action” against these illegal immigrants. The Obama administration deferred penalties against the DACA population contrary to the law by halting deportations and other legal action.

About 800,000 people applied for deferred action. Immediately, 40,000 were found to be ineligible for DACA, while another 70,000 were found to have some other path for legal presence in the United States.

That means the remaining DACA population is about 690,000. And remember, under DACA, an applicant gets to commit up to two crimes before being found ineligible—not including the illegal entry.

Under the Obama DACA, only the “children” who arrived prior to 2012 were eligible. Although 800,000 applied, DACA supporters claim there were another 1 million who might have been eligible.

So, that means that the trade for DACA isn’t the 690,000 of the first tranche of applicants, but nearly 1.7 million.

But here’s the problem with that: illegal immigrants have continued bringing children into the country since 2012. In fact, the number of children being sent or brought illegally into the country has increased. Pro-amnesty factions will make an argument of commensurability that the 2012 cut off is unfairly arbitrary and we should allow the post-2012 “children” to also receive the same amnesty proposed for the original DACA people. That is another 1 to 2 million people. Legalizing the first DACA group will inevitably lead to amnesty for the second group. – READ MORE

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