I feel especially sorry for the DACA kids. Had their parents entered the U.S. illegally 100 years ago or more, their illegal status would have been winked at generally. They would have been courted by the Democratic Party and enrolled as voters right off the boat. We welcomed immigrants because we needed them and because we could sympathize with those who needed a country of hope and promise, as our own families had believed not long before. Ever since the post WWI restrictions on immigration, and despite much liberalization after WWII, those who arrive here illegally are not courted by anyone or given any benefit of the doubt. Perhaps in a world where so many would like to become Americans for many reasons, this is inevitable. We certainly cannot take in immigrants without thought about the excessive presence of foreigners that could undermine our unique ideological foundations in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (or profit). So the DACA kids deserve indulgence. However, we must, despite our controversies, forge a policy of immigration that is fair to immigrants and would-be immigrants and also fair to Americans who value our unique country and its institutions -- so long as they last, if they last.
In Response to: Journeys of Hardship and Hope: DACA Students Share Their Stories