The U.S. Congress has kicked the federal budget “down the road” once again, extending a Dec. 22, 2017, deadline into the New Year’s date of Jan. 19. Making that deadline will likely be another “Perils of Pauline” spectacle, with many contentious issues requiring resolution, all with the expected threats of “shutting down the government.”

One of the sure-to-be divisive issues is on immigration and the status of the 690,000 DACA recipients, who were granted deferred deportation by the Obama administration. We keep hearing that the immigration system is out of control. Why many choose at this time to consider another amnesty rather than take concrete measures to fix our immigration problems boggles the mind.

It seems absurd to extend legal status to DACA recipients, however compelling some of their stories may be, when all these other issues need to be resolved.

The United States needs to secure its borders, stop visa overstays, eliminate rampant visa fraud and better manage the processing of legitimate green card applications from other countries.

And yet, surprisingly, 34 GOP congressmen have signed a Dec. 8, 2017, letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan that recommends a “permanent legislative solution” for DACA recipients. Congressman Bruce Poliquin of Maine’s Second District is one of the signers of the letter, which also states: “We all agree that our border must be enforced, our national security defended, and our broken immigration system reformed.”

If we all “agree” that action should be taken, then let’s take it, and not put it off, instead of recommending action that would be amnesty, in spite of any claims to the opposite.


And what do we know of the DACA recipients? Precious little, and much of it not good. The screening of DACA applicants was questioned as early as 2013 in an April 22 Washington Times article where it was noted that the approval rate was 99.5 percent. A Dec. 4, 2017, Heritage Foundation article asserts that “DACA only excluded individuals for convictions.”

When foreigners apply in their home country for green cards, they can provide required police, financial and other information needed to screen them. None of that is possible with DACA recipients, and we have seen the results.

According to The Washington Free Beacon of Oct. 13, 2017, two juvenile DACA recipients were arrested as they attempted to smuggle illegal aliens into the country in two separate incidents at check points in Texas.

In a Sept. 5, 2017, item, Breitbart News reported that from a listing of 2,139 DACA recipients, they had identified 50 DACA recipients who had been arrested for crimes, including alien smuggling, assault offenses, domestic violence, drug offenses, etc.

The Ryan letter states: “For many, this is the only country they have ever known.” That may be true for some, but others also came here as teenagers. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services rules, applicants had to have been “under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012,” which means many came here as teenagers, and they are now aged 20 to 31; some are 36. So they have known another country, another language, another culture.

The letter also says: “They are American in every way except their immigration status.” Has no one asked what they were doing before DACA was instituted in 2012? Jessica Vaughan, the Policy Director for the Center for Immigration Studies, testified at an Oct. 3, 2017, hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee that “51 percent were already employed before DACA.” If so, they were using fraudulent documentation, or being paid “under the table.” Both are felonies. Is this what being “American” is all about?


At the same hearing, Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley stated, “From the beginning, President Obama’s executive action was riddled with numerous loopholes that allowed for fraud and abuse.”

The letter Rep. Poliquin signed recommends giving them “the opportunity to apply for a more secured status in our country as soon as possible.” Amnesty, pure and simple.

In view of that, it seems unconscionable that Poliquin would endorse such a proposal. He should remove his name from that letter.

Robert Casimiro is executive director of Mainers for Responsible Immigration. He lives in Bridgton.

Robert Casimiro

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