A big part of being rational—even radically so—is a willingness and ability to separate one’s heart from one’s brain. Like many of you, my heart is with The Dreamers. My brain is with Judge Andrew Hanen.
He got it right under the law, in my view. Hanen, a Texas federal judge appointed by W, ruled yesterday that new DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) applications must be suspended. The ruling is based on the premise that President Obama lacked legal authority to independently institute the program in 2012. Judge Hanen acknowledged the good the DACA program has done, and expressed support and compassion for the “Dreamers” who are here. Renewal applications will continue for the foreseeable future. No one is getting deported as a result of this ruling. This simply means that new applications are being suspended going forward until Congress does its job and works it out. (Yeah, I know, good luck with that.) This is a Congressional issue, not an executive one. You know, separation of powers, and all of that good stuff we were all supposed to learn in the fifth grade.
This one is headed back to SCOTUS, which last year blocked Trump’s attempt to suspend DACA, but did so because it ruled the administration procedurally botched its legal filings. (You mean Trump didn’t follow the rules? Or didn’t know there WERE rules?) DACA may not fare as well in front of The Robes this time.
This is an emotional issue. I get that. The very term “Dreamers” is emotionally loaded, and even manipulative. “What? You’re anti-Dreamers?”
No. I’m pro-law. Hanen gets paid to think with his brain. He got this one right. Hanen is already facing some blistering attacks. Not from me. He simply said this is a Congressional issue, not an executive one. Because it is. DACA is a good program. Let’s make it a legal one as well.
Yeah, I know. Some of you just read this and hope I will now shut up and retire. Nope. Justice Breyer and I will both let you know when we’re ready. Ain’t gonna be today. Prolly not tomorrow, either…
One more thing. Trump better hope Calamari clams up.