DREAMers are young adult immigrants who were children when they entered the USA. As children, they had no choice but to accompany their legal guardians when the latter crossed the U.S. border.

Since their arrival, the DREAMers have become assimilated into the U.S. culture, making them de facto naturalized U.S. residents. It is quite common for DREAMers to have no memory of their nations of origin.

DREAMers, in general, do no harm to the USA, which is why Barack Obama initiated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. As President, Mr. Obama saw no reason for the federal government to go after such small fish when there were bigger fish to fry. As President, Mr. Obama could decide what priorities that federal law officers would have.

Now, Donald Trump is the President, and he has seen fit to put a time limit on DACA in order to force Congress to take action. Like it or not, the authority to establish immigration rules belongs to the legislative branch of the federal government, not the executive branch. What appears to some as an act of cruelty on the part of Mr. Trump is simply an acknowledgement of constitutional reality.

The humane thing to do would be for Congress to pass legislation that would give DREAMers some kind of legal status. DREAMers are not criminals. Their plight is the result of someone else’s illegal behavior.

I cannot think of any reason why DREAMers should not be on the receiving end of mercy. As Micah 6:8 of the Tanakh states, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Ah, but there is the rub. Way too many Americans are mercy-deficient, including those who claim to believe what the Tanakh says.

Yes, justice requires that the federal government to do all it can to end immigration cheating. Immigrants who entered the USA legally are entitled to such justice.

However, in this case, justice and mercy are not mutually exclusive.

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Side Note: Wanting to end immigration cheating isn’t the same thing as wanting to end all immigration.

David Robertson
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