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Dreamers debacle leaves plenty of anger to go around

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

Half a million undocumented young people who wanted to believe that this country loved them half as much as they loved the country put their trust in the pretty words of a president who sprinkled them like fertilizer. In exchange for a two-year work permit, and a chance to prove themselves to America, they foolishly handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement their fingerprints, home addresses and the names of undocumented family members.

Good plan. What could go wrong? This time bomb was bound to explode. That was the idea.

Stick with me. The D in DACA stands for "deferred." What is being deferred? Despite what some wildly misinformed elements of the Latino left tried to tell me this week, it was never legalization. It was always deportation. It's baffling to me that there are liberals who are so eager to praise Obama that they actually believe that DACA put young people on a path to citizenship.

That's idiotic. DACA was only intended to do one thing: Put young people on a bus or plane to their home country. In fact, when you think about it, those 800,000 young people who enrolled are already in ICE custody. They're just on a temporary furlough.

We might as well add them to the tally of the 3 million people that Obama deported the old-fashioned way to alleviate the anxiety of African-Americans and white union members who aren't up to the task of competing with foreign workers.

My friends on the left think I'm being too hard on the Dreamers. When you're drowning, they say, you'll reach for anything.

Maybe. But that shouldn't include an anvil.

Americans are right to be angry. Let's channel that anger into something positive. We need something that DACA wasn't: a permanent legislative solution. And instead of an elitist giveaway to Dreamers, we need a remedy that extends to their parents. And we needed it, oh, about five years ago.

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Ruben Navarrette's email address is ruben@rubennavarrette.com.

(c) 2017, The Washington Post Writers Group

 

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