In a meeting with the Journal Times Editorial Board last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Congress, not the president, needs to find a humane solution for the approximately 800,000 youth who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Those under that program are people who came over to the United States as minors and don’t know any home other than the United States.
Under the DACA program, every two years such people are able to apply for renewal of their status, a status that allows them to live here legally, makes them eligible for things such as a driver’s license and eligible to work.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump gave Congress a six-month deadline: The Department of Homeland Security will stop processing any new applications for the program as of Tuesday, the Trump administration announced. But the administration will renew permits for anyone whose status expires in the next six months.
Now is the time for Congress to act — that means the House and the Senate need to agree on a solution.
Typically, when important issues such as immigration come up, interested parties overcomplicate the matter by adding in 10 other issues and addressing every single issue under the sun related to immigration.
In this case, Congress should work to concentrate on the fate of the DACA recipients.
Some of these youths have been renewing their DACA status for years. Those youths are now entering adulthood and are contributing members of society. They should be allowed a path toward citizenship.
One such example is Pablo Davalos-Alonso, 24, of Racine. He is a DACA recipient who came over to the United States when he was very young. He went on to graduate from St. Catherine’s High School; he now owns a personal training company, is a business partner at Mt. Sinai Gym, 2045 Lathrop Ave., and co-manages Anytime Fitness, 7115 Durand Ave., Sturtevant.
He is a great success story. Yet, if DACA goes away completely, he wouldn’t be able to continue in business here.
There needs to be a solution for Davalos-Alonso and all others in his situation. This solution cannot wait.
In six months, we cannot be talking about the expiring deadline.
As Ryan said in a press release issued Tuesday: “However well-intentioned, President Obama’s DACA program was a clear abuse of executive authority, an attempt to create law out of thin air. Just as the courts have already struck down similar Obama policy, this was never a viable long-term solution to this challenge … but now there is more to do, and the president has called on Congress to act.”