• Ben Yee

DACA Isn't About The President

If you're upset about DACA, stop focusing on the President and start focusing on Congress. Stop focusing on 2020, and start working towards 2018 - TODAY.

I suspect this is unpopular to say, but DACA is Executive overreach and is probably unconstitutional.

While the program makes imminent sense, the Executive Order creates an enforcement disparity which is tantamount to a new legal class of immigrant. A legal class which isn't recognized by any law written in Congress. And while I support the ideas of DACA, I also support the separation of powers and democracy.

Immigration reform has always been about Congress; and they've abdicated that responsibility for a decade. The last time they considered the issue was in 2007, with the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act. It was the end of George Bush Jr.'s second term and he had lost any political capital he might have spent on it. It was assumed the next President would resolve immigration (enter financial crisis). Throughout his two terms, the need for immigration reform was probably the only thing on which I agreed with George Bush.

At the time, immigration reform was recognized as an urgent issue for the United States. Today, partisanship has made solutions to even our most practical problems un-addressable. Even when Republican leaders in Congress voice support for DACA, it's unclear they'll be willing to vote on it themselves. Hence, the willingness of Presidents to use their powers to make substantive changes to immigration law through enforcement decisions.

However, the more we focus on the President the worse off we are. Due to the process of DACA's creation, it's highly unlikely that legal challenges such as New York's will stop Trump's undoing of it. No article or statement I have read has even hinted at a potential legal argument. Executive Actions like DACA cannot survive a challenge in court and their longevity hinges on a single election. These are not real protections because these are not real laws.

If you are upset about DACA, let's talk about winning Congress and getting immigration reform through legislation; instead of letting stagnation in Congress allow our Presidents to govern like a string of schizophrenic Kings.

If you're wondering what there is to do today about elections in 2018, I have great news for you - there are things to do today for the next FIVE elections in Congress.

The reason Congress is so packed with a mix of radicals and spineless sad-sacks is gerrymandering. Every 10 years the United States redraws all of its electoral districts - including Congress. However, the lines are drawn by State legislatures, allowing politicians the opportunity to draw lines for partisan advantage in a process known as gerrymandering. This is something everyone except the right has ignored for about 50 years.

The next redistricting, and therefore opportunity for politicians to gerrymander districts, is in 2020. That means every single election between now and then will help determine who's drawing those lines. THIS YEAR there are only two States with elections - Virginia and New Jersey.

The more we work on State elections there, the better our infrastructure will be for Congressional elections next year. The more seats we win in State governments, the closer we get to undoing the insidious gerrymandering of America.

I'll be organizing trips to VA after the NY Primary (which is next week), so sign up.


© 2016 Ben Yee for State Committee

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