DACA - am I missing something?

You’re correct. I put “ran out” in quotes for that reason (it didn’t really run out so much as the rug was pulled out from under it) but didn’t really clarify.

No. At a minimum, DACA recipients would have to exit the country and apply for reentry under a spousal, student, or work visa. Of course, since most DACA reciepients do not have a passport (and many lack sufficient documentation in their native countries to even apply for one) that becomes its own set of challenges notwithstanding the cost and potential disruption should there be a delay.

A solution that has been in the wanting for well over a decade now. Of course, now that the GOP has full control of the Congress and the Executive Branch, we’ll finally see the logjam created by…oh, nothing? Less action than a nunnery? Slower than a Tarkovsky film? Fewer wins than the Phillies? Well…shit. I guess this is one of those, what do you call it, irresolvable problems, like the Hodge Conjecture or baryon asymmetry. If there was only some way Congress could change the laws to be in accordance with providing a permanent route to citizenship for the 689,800 people current in the program or the 1.3 million who are potentially elligable so as to not bear the expense of deporting them or the distraction from dealing with other, more pressing immigration issues. But I guess that is beyond the scope of Congressional authority, so we’ll just have to chuck out people who were brought to this country as children and have been productive students and citizens ever since on a technicality of law. Because if the United States stands for anything, it is the officious and blind enforcement of regulation over judicious morality and good fiscal sense, especially when it comes to non-whites who might not even be Christians. If you wanted to be an American, you should have had the good sense to be born here, gobloveit!



Options going forward for DACA recipients depend tremendously on the facts particular to each case.

DACA itself did not provide a general pathway to Legal Permanent Residence (LPR) status (green card holder) nor for citizenship to all DACA recipients.

However some DACA recipients may be able to afford themselves of particular strategies that would lead to a visa and eventually Adjustment of Status into permanent residence. For example, a DACA recipient might apply for Advance Parole to travel abroad for educational purposes. Upon return to the United States the individual with Advanced Parole is “paroled” and able to lawfully enter the United States. Now having a lawful entry it would be possible to obtain lawful residence by other means such as marriage to an American. And such could lead to a green card and eventually citizenship. Not a path for everyone, but a possibility.

But now that the Trump administration is seeking to revoke DACA it is not clear whether even such limited options as described above would still be viable. Trump’s EO revoking DACA is under legal attack. Time will tell what the courts will say about this.

An infant or young child cannot violate the law. They can’t choose where their parents take them.
Would you be in favor of charging a child as an accomplice if their father robs a bank or mom commits welfare fraud?

I believe Jophiel is trying to explain the issue in simple terms in order to assist the OP and others in understanding the issue; not accuse children of crimes.

If Jophiel had written something like, “Undocumented aliens may not change their immigration status through marriage,” that would be accurate… but… what infants or young children are contemplating marrying an American to stay in the country? (Because that was the question being asked.)

I really don’t know, but I would be curious if anyone has the information: what % of DACA participants came here as “an infant or young child”? Do we know much of anything about the distribution of their ages when they arrived?

It ain’t meaningless to the people who have slept peacefully at night without their families being torn apart by stormtroopers.

If Ma and Pa decide to leave for the New World, would you expect that 15, 16, and 17 year olds would have the wherewithal to say, “No thanks! I’m going to stay here and work the potato fields rather than head to America illegally.”

In the right-o-sphere the opposite analogy is given. US citizenship (or even permanent residence) is a thing of value; the whole debate presumes this. The DACA recipients would receive this thing of value when the original cause was their parents’ decision to break the law and bring them here. Should the children of bank robbers get to keep the loot?

I think both analogies are seriously flawed. And that people should stop pretending this whole debate is all about morality and fairness. A lot of it in my perhaps cynical opinion is just wanting to get more people in the country likely to vote for one’s party, or fewer people in the country likely to vote against it. The people who are really dug in on the issue I mean, when it doesn’t directly affect them. Some are just pure humanitarians or Javert-like absolute upholders of The Law, not most activists either side, IMO. Others are free to claim this is much more true of one side than the other, and we can agree to disagree.

But most Americans think people brought as minors illegally should be able to stay under some set of reasonable conditions as it applies to them. Because it seems reasonable, not that it would really be like putting people in jail for their parents’ bank robberies to have a harsher solution. And even Trump is offering what most people say they want. The problems being that a) he asks for a number of other things, none of which IMO are particularly reprehensible though one is free to consider them unwise (cut chain migration/visa lottery and have that cut total legal immigration rather than shift those slots to other legal immigration programs) and/or unnecessary (spend a lot more on a ‘Wall’) and a lot of Democrats don’t want to go along as a practical matter, for whatever reasons. And b) some on the right don’t like his DACA concession no matter what he’d get in return.

But that’s where this issue has been for awhile. Congress doesn’t ‘get its act together’ because the two parties’ primary bases have very little overlap in what they’d be willing to accept as part of a deal. And you have to win the primary to have any chance to come back next term. Although a lot of regular voters have plenty that overlaps in what they’d accept on this issue. It’s not a big issue at all for a lot of US voters, immigration in total let alone just the ‘dreamer’ part.

Not with much regularity, but I would view a 15-year-old’s situation a bit differently than I would an infant.

There’s a tendency among DACA supporters to emphasize the most sympathetic DACA cases and ignore the more problematic ones. “they served in the military”. Well, yes, that’s true of some of them, but I’ve read it was a minuscule fraction. “they were brought here as infants”. Again, I suspect that’s true of some of them, but certainly not all. Some of them came from very dangerous places. Others came from South Korea or India.

What I’m driving at is that I think Dopers ought to be seeking a more realistic understanding of who the DACA participants are and not just whatever idealized version helps them sell their political goal. Some people’s mileage obviously varies.

You are absolutely correct. DACA by itself does not provide any path toward permanent residence. That much has been clear from the beginning. Neither you nor anyone else is missing anything.

Do you have any other questions?

From here: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Reports%20and%20Studies/Immigration%20Forms%20Data/All%20Form%20Types/DACA/daca_population_data.pdf

DACA applicants were young when then they were brought to the United States. The most common age at arrival was eight, however almost one-third (31 percent) were five or younger and more than two-thirds (69 percent) were 10 or younger when they arrived. DACA application forms require applicants to report their legal status upon arrival to the United States. Nationally, 61 percent of DACA applicants reported they entered without inspection (EWI), while 11 percent entered with a valid visa. Because a large share (28 percent) reported their status as unknown however, these data should be interpreted with caution.

Immigrants, anf particularly those from Mexico and South America tend to be social and fiscal conservatives who view financial aid to be something provided by the community rather than the government. Donald Trump actually received a surprising amount of the Latino vote despite infamously blasting Mexican immigrants as “bad hombres”, presumably on the basis that those were references “to the other guys, not me.” In general, immigration doesn’t benefit the Democratic party electorially.

Regardless, the debate over DACA and the so-called “DREAMers” actually has little to do with immigration per se, as they are already established and demonstrated as productove members of society, de facto if not de jure Americans. It has far more to do with cultivating resentment toward all immigrants, legal and otherwise, and a sense of entitlement by ‘real’ Americans, e.g. those whose ancestors came here two or more generations ago and who took the land to be their own regardless of the interests of the original pre-Columbia inhabitants.


Thank you for this information. Looks like a fairly typical distribution curve.

I don’t think most political insiders, from either party, believe this.

Infants and young children aren’t getting married either.

The law says that people here unlawfully can not apply for a visa unless they’ve left the country for a number of years prior. You can’t be a DACA recipient unless you’re in the nation unlawfully. So the answer to the question “Can a DACA recipient change their immigration status through marriage to a US citizen” is no. Has nothing to do with the capacity of a child to break the law.

Not that it matters towards the facts of the question at hand, but I’m fully in favor of an immediate path to “normalizing” DACA recipients so they can seek citizenship.

I don’t think any actual Democratic or Republican strategists buy that argument especially with a shorter term focus as they typically have. A possible smidgen more than Romney is still landslide against. Even a significantly more modest % loss of Hispanic* vote (Bush II style) is still more of a loss the bigger that vote is, that’s simple arithmetic.

Also that theory ignores the basic pattern of recent immigration is of mainly poorer people eligible for racial preferences once they arrive, and the core message of the Democratic Party has become more govt govt services and racial preferences (or fighting racism if you wish, no need to quibble over terminology). That’s not accusing anybody of doing anything but looking out for themselves and families like everyone else, but it’s just the reality at least as people first find their footing in a new society.

In the long run immigration might be more of a wash politically than either side’s core tends to think. But your conclusion isn’t what almost anyone in either party base thinks. And so not what motivates them.

*which doesn’t correspond 1:1 to ‘immigrant’, obviously. Many Hispanics are not immigrants, many immigrants are not Hispanic, and the issue both side’s core supporters look at includes who will vote in the future not just now or the past. But broadly speaking it’s a proxy.

How so? I guess I didn’t phrase my question well.

How about you give a bit more insight on what you consider to be these “problematic” DACA cases. You seem to think DACA recipients are anyone brought to the US illegally as a child, when that is clearly not the case. I can see how continuously omitting that distinction helps sell your political goal, though.

The grand majority of illegal aliens at no point had any way whatsoever to emigrate to the United States legally, much less once they are here illegally. The purpose of DACA was so they wouldn’t get deported until a permanent solution was implemented, “fixing” DACA implies finding that permanent solution.