Editorial: N.C.'s congressional delegation must unite to keep DACA
Posted September 5
CBC Editorial: Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017; Editorial # 8207
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company
Wise politicians learn from experience. What may have been a buffo campaign applause line can be a dud in real world governing. Such was the lesson in President Donald Trump’s miserably failed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Reality (we’re not referring to the TV entertainment variety) isn’t one of this president’s strong suits. So, following on that dismal effort, Trump is expected to announce his plan to do away with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects young immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children.
This isn’t a fight most seasoned congressional Republicans are itching to take on – and rightly so. The U.S. House Speaker just days ago urged Trump not to do away with the program, but let Congress preserve and fix any problems.
North Carolina’s Sen. Thom Tillis is reportedly working on face-saving legislation to give Trump a pyrrhic victory while keeping a path to permanent residency for these deserving young people.
Margaret Spellings, the Texas Republican, former U.S. Education Secretary and now University of North Carolina system president, urged Trump to keep his hands off of DACA.
“These young people were brought to the United States as children, carried along through no decision of their own. They have grown up American — studying and learning in our public schools, celebrating our national holidays, becoming a part of our communities. They’ve made a lifetime of friends and memories here. This is the only home most of them can remember,” she wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.
These young people share the desire for a better nation as much as any of their native-born peers. “Their faith in this country is a blessing, if we have the grace to accept it,” Spellings said.
There are more than 27,000 accepted DACA applications from young people in North Carolina, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Through the end of 2016, 20,927 have been approved.
Unlike several state attorneys general who are threatening the Trump administration in an effort to repeal DACA, North Carolina’s Attorney General Josh Stein has rightly joined 19 others to urging Trump to keep it.
President of Duke University Vincent Price share’s UNC’s support of DACA and last week sent a letter to Trump urging him to avoid repeal.
The consensus among this broad spectrum of North Carolina political and education leaders needs to be reflected – vocally – by the state’s congressional delegation. The state’s senators and members of House of Representatives need to stand united against repeal of DACA and let the White House know of their stand.
We’ll be asking each of the members of the state’s congressional delegation where they stand. We’ll follow up on their response: Do they stand with North Carolinians who believe in the promise of the American dream or those who want to expel the best and brightest of the next generation merely because of where they were born and how they came into this nation?