How would Federalists and Anti-Federalists feel about the DACA Debacle?

The DACA “Debacle”

The current debate on DACA can be viewed from the perspective of Federalists and Ant-Federalists. Federalists would consider President Trump’s actions to end the program and challenge Congress to expedite a fair and just national immigration policy as giving the federal government control in this matter. Anti-Federalists advocating smaller government and more power at a state level would feel better about states having the control of how to best manage immigration policies. This would appear to be another situation that the Founding Fathers of our nation would never been able to envision the scope of this problem, the entire population of America in 1789 was less than the number of undocumented immigrants we have today. This is a situation that should be handled at the federal level since immigration is a very complex issue that affects states in a multitude of ways. Anti-Federalists would prefer that States handle the issue and many states have policies in place that support immigration regardless of Federal policy. This may have been an opportunity for compromise then and now.

The Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program was initiated in 2012 by then President Obama. It was intended to, and for the most part accomplished relieving the worry of deportation for thousands of undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the United States by their parents as children. It never provided a path to citizenship yet allowed the recipients the ability to obtain work permits and made them eligible to continue their education. When President Trump made the decision to end the program he deferred any additional action on those covered for a period of 6 months giving Congress ample time to legislate a program that would protect approximately the 800,000 eligible immigrant youth currently protected. Trump is on record as stating that if Congress failed to pass legislation he would re-visit the issue.

Trump has also said “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military?” He added “I have a love for these people, and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly…” By bringing authority over immigration back to Congress he increases the chance for one of the bipartisan measures such as the Dream Act of 2017 has many of the same protections in place as DACA does and also creates a path for citizenship or permanent legal resident status if applicants meet certain requirements to move forward.

It is obvious that there will always be a need for cooperation between the Federal and State Government and that in today’s political climate to be successful politicians must embrace both Federalist and Anti-Federalist ideologies to be successful.

It would seem to me that rather than protesting, walking out of class or disparaging the American flag, those effected should be reaching out to Congress and urging them for fairness and to do their jobs.

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1 Response to How would Federalists and Anti-Federalists feel about the DACA Debacle?

  1. samiomais says:

    I’m curious as to what exactly you mean by “a fair and just national immigration policy?” And can politicians really embrace both Federalist and Anti-Federalist thinking on this issue? If a federalist, as you explained, would advocate federal control, while Anti-Federalists would have each state decide for itself, then federal law would potentially contradict states’ law, which may raise the question of which is supreme, which a Federalist and Anti-Federalist would each answer differently! Maybe I’m missing something and you have a creative solution that could accommodate both positions, but for now it seems to be impossible. Either the federal government has the final say, or it’s just ceremonial and the states are really in charge of immigration, which is arguably the current state of affairs (e.g. sanctuary cities).

    I did found your analysis of Trump’s recent actions regarding immigration to be quite insightful. It’s interesting to see him take an effectively humanitarian attitude towards the “Dreamers” given the inflammatory rhetoric he espoused during his presidential campaign. I appreciate you demonstrating his shift in attitude (and even policy somewhat) on immigration. However, we are still hearing stories of high-profile and increasingly inhumane deportations in the news. Perhaps Trump is juggling between fulfilling his campaign promises to his supporters, and upholding his side of the deal he recently struck with the Democrats.

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