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The DACA debacle: A better solution

| Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
Immigrants and supporters gather across the street from the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Las Vegas earlier this month for a 'We Rise for the Dream' rally to oppose President Donald Trump's order to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  (Photo by Ethan Miller | Getty Images)
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Immigrants and supporters gather across the street from the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Las Vegas earlier this month for a 'We Rise for the Dream' rally to oppose President Donald Trump's order to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. (Photo by Ethan Miller | Getty Images)

Something quite positive could, and should, emerge from the firestorm over President Trump's decision to rescind his predecessor's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). And that would be a legal, permanent pathway to citizenship for children whose parents brought them to this country illegally.

Under Mr. Trump's time frame, Congress has six months to correct that which is inherently wrong with President Barack Obama's DACA executive order, which granted temporary amnesty to an estimated 1.5 million children who were already in the U.S. illegally.

Aside from the quandary that Mr. Obama created by, in effect, issuing an immigration law when Congress wouldn't — one that may well go down in flames in a Supreme Court challenge — DACA is at best a Band-Aid. Those who meet DACA's criteria for deferred deportation can reside in the U.S. for only two years, after which they have to apply for a two-year renewal (provided they have no criminal record).

Clearly, “No one can live a productive and meaningful life if he or she has to plan it in two-year increments,” writes Helen Raleigh for The Federalist.

What's needed from Congress is a DACA solution that's part of a broader immigration-reform package, one that provides a more substantive pathway to citizenship that's fair to the so-called Dreamers and those immigrants going through the legal process to become citizens.

We are, and remain, a land of laws — not of executive fiats that over time go flat.

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