Three years ago today, President Obama announced a new executive action that would allow young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children the opportunity to remain in the country and work without fear of deportation. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), aimed to bring young immigrants out of the shadows but without granting legal status. President Obama, in announcing the new policy, said it would, “mend our nation’s immigration policy, make it more fair, more efficient, and more just—specifically for certain young people.” More than 660,000 undocumented immigrants have received DACA benefits in the first three years of the program, according to USCIS.
Critics were quick to decry the President’s use of executive power and his unwillingness to first bring the issue to Congress. However, the loudest criticisms of DACA came just last year as the rise of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border made national headlines. The narrative for many anti-immigration conservatives was clear: by offering deportation relief, the Administration’s order incentivized a flood of young illegal immigrants to come to the U.S.
Read the rest at Niskanen here.