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EDITORIAL: Trump must negotiate DACA, not declare it ‘dead’

When President Donald Trump recently signed the 2018 Omnibus Bill into law, which contained a small amount of what he wanted for a border wall (and included funds for 25 miles in Hidalgo County and 8 miles in Starr County,) he proclaimed his displeasure over the federal spending measure. And this weekend he seemed to take it out on Dreamers, ranting in disturbing tweets the following:

“Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release. Getting more dangerous. “Caravans” coming. Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!”

“These big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA. They want in on the act!”

“DACA is dead because the Democrats didn’t care or act, and now everyone wants to get onto the DACA bandwagon… No longer works. Must build Wall and secure our borders with proper Border legislation. Democrats want No Borders, hence drugs and crime”

A tit for tat will not solve this problem. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a program that has worthy attributes and is worth fixing. But that requires negotiations.

Declaring “dead” a program that offers opportunity to over 690,000 immigrant youth who have fulfilled their required obligations by pursuing higher education and degrees and/or have served our U.S. military, is short sided.

We agree with President Trump that our country needs to open its borders to those with skills and talents. That is the premise behind the H-1B visa program, which today marks the opening day for immigrants to petition for one of these 65,000 visas that will be offered in 2019 for specialty workers. And an additional 20,000 H-1 B visas will be available in this visa lottery for those with master’s degree or higher.

But how many of these Dreamers also meet this criteria? They should be given a chance to legally work, also. We therefore implore President Trump to continue to work with lawmakers to reach a compromise on DACA, which also promotes the attainment of higher education and certifications that also will contribute to our American workforce.

These highly skilled youth should have a legal place in our society and be contributing taxpayers. Those who have worked hard to better themselves should not be penalized or held accountable for the actions of adults who brought them here illegally to this country.

Our immigration system is in need of reform. It is broken. But it should not be abandoned.

As FWD.us President Todd Schulte said: “Reforming and expanding high-skilled immigration is an important part of a broader fight to protect legal immigration avenues.”

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