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DACA Debacle Exposes Need for Immigration Law Revolution

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Are their Dreams all that matter in US Immigration Policy? Hardly.

America doesn’t need comprehensive immigration reform.  It needs an immigration law revolution.

American citizenship is not a right of adverse possession.  The success of your criminal activity cannot be the basis for welcoming you into our family and conferring on you the rights and privileges of being American.  Moreover, your children may not deserve the fate you gave them, but they likewise do not earn the benefits of a pass for your illegal conduct.

Indeed, in American culture, no one profits from his or her illegal acts.  Illegal contracts are void.  Illegal gains are subject to seizure.  And, if the police act illegally, even their evidence against you is thrown out.

In the alternative universe of American immigration law, all the incentives are backwards.

Crawl over our border and have a child; He or she’s an “American.”  Crawl over our border with your children, and they get to go to a K-12 American school, no questions asked.  Crawl over our border and show up at an emergency room with any medical problem, even if you can’t pay, and you can’t be turned away.  Crawl over our border, stay here by forging documents, altering identities, and creating fraud, and if we can’t catch you over a long enough period of time, we might grant you amnesty and let you stay.  Oh, and we might then let you bring your family here too.

That’s why people crawl over our borders by the millions, and that is why we have a problem with illegal immigration.  We don’t seem to understand, somehow, that incentives matter.

Business wants the cheap labor.  Democrats want the political constituents.  Immigrants want to come here.

No matter how bad it is in a two-bedroom house crammed with twenty day-laborers in my hometown, for the immigrant, that life is better than the life they left behind. Hard working people, yearning to breathe free, be free and live better than they had before can’t be held back easily.  If they could, they will never be held back when a government has an open border, and it creates actual incentives aimed directly at attracting illegal aliens to enter and stay in the United States.

If you have a wall, they have a ladder.

If I slept on a dirt floor, had no medical insurance, no job, and fought off crime, poverty, and disease, you can bet your bottom dollar that I would make the trek to a place where many of my problems are better.  I understand why they come.  I don’t understand why we encourage them to come illegally.

Immigration reform in this country inexplicably focuses on rewarding illegal behavior, or setting up artificial, scalable boundaries.  It never once focuses on changing the incentives.  If you want to stop illegal aliens from coming here illegally, you need to stop making it a better place to come with little or no punishment if one is caught.

You need to reward and increase legal immigration, and you need to discourage and punish illegal immigration.  Reform isn’t the answer, revolution is the answer.

To have a real revolution, we need to cast from the house those who simply are dishonest, anti-American brokers.  It’s not just the swamp that has us stuck in the mud, it’s the modern-day money changers on whom the swamp relies that keep America angry, confused, and divided.

DACA was an unconstitutional, executive over-reach not passed by the people.

From apologists on the left and right, scholars or not, the arguments foisted on Americans about DACA were nonsense.  Some are nonsense on stilts. Business, political, or racial bias motivates the excuse-makers.  Perhaps none are more loathsome in this debate than the bought and paid for lobbyists and politicians who knowingly sell-out American interest for personal or political gain.  Among the most distasteful are the tenure-class charlatans who sell their franchise to stake out “academic” arguments that are nothing more than pay-to-play opinion pieces.

Show me a scholar’s financial backers, and sadly, I can predict his or her “scholarship.”  Great scholars work toward outcomes based on reason.  Many in the academy now reason their way to a political outcome. That’s not scholarship any more than the Dred Scott decision was legal analysis.

The entire political system is corrupt and self-serving.  There are two kinds of people dominating our political system; those serving themselves and those serving special interests to serve themselves. We need people to serve America.

An American immigration policy must serve America first.  If that’s controversial to you, then you are part of the problem.  In addition, Americans must learn and respect our system of federalism.

Congress makes laws.  The administrative state, at the direction of the executive, enforces the laws.  Period.  Welcome to real, constitutional, federalism. 

Those who want to expand the power of the executive do so by degrading the power of the legislative branch.  That’s us.

In this great federal republic, we are represented by Congress.  Once Congress stops making the laws that matter, you don’t have a democratic republic.  You have an elite oligarchy with the trappings of democracy.  The road to tyranny is paved by people who acquiesce their liberty and power to a larger and larger government.

The Obama DACA debacle was about deferring law enforcement proceedings against people here illegally.  It was the executive saying to Americans, I will decide which laws to enforce, and against whom.  In our immigration laws, the President does not have that power, nor should he or she.

Still, the issue isn’t “DACA.”  DACA is a legal myth.  It’s a term of convenience.  It’s a label.  The issue is this; we have nearly 4 million minors here illegally, and 700,000 of them fit under this artificial set of criteria made up by one man.  We can build a wall.  We can make trade sanctions.  We can deport those we catch, but we must come up with real answers for these current cases AND stop future illegal immigration.  The issues are linked.

DACA defenders whine and cry many things.  Often one hears, “they are innocent children.”  One might hear “it’s not their fault.”  Some more insane comments insist that “they deserve to stay,” or “they have a right to the American dream.”

They do not have any rights to America or her dreams.  They are here illegally, and whatever rights or outcomes Americans decide for them is up to Americans based on what is in America’s best interest. Whatever benefit an immigrant gets from coming here is and must be a secondary consideration to the needs their presence will serve current American citizens.

Ask the American Indian about the success of an open-borders immigration policy that serves only the interests of new arrivals.

This tweet came from a United States Senator.

It’s one thing to argue that some people brought here as small children deserve consideration for reasonable treatment, it is quite another to suggest that the illegal acts of their parents have converted them into lawful American citizens.

I laugh when some say we can’t round up all the people here illegally.  Of course, we can. We put a man on the moon.  I know a guy who built a gizmo and landed it on Mars.  We track packages globally, from our handheld devices.  Trust me, we could round up 99.9% of illegal aliens and kick them out … if we wanted to do so, and if doing so made economic, political, or cultural sense. It does not.

Now, we are told, it is unjust to do anything but solve this “Dreamer” problem by letting them stay.

Letting so-called Dreamers stay, without consequence, without reason, and without a price, would be madness. It would be even crazier than kicking them all out.

The only resolution to this illegal immigration problem is an immigration law revolution.  Reform is tinkering.  It’s an adjustment on the margins to a broken system.  It changes little.

A revolution tears up the existing system, burns it to the ground, and builds a better system.  We need that revolution.

It starts with honest brokers working toward American first principles.  It relies upon a system that creates the proper incentives and disincentives to control most predictable human behaviors.  It can be successful when we create a system such as this and then enforce it rigorously under the rule of law.

For those who want to do “something” about DACA and Dreamers, I say the discussion doesn’t start with them.  It starts with America and Americans. If you want amnesty, then in trade I must have a system that works and ensures we don’t revisit this same problem in 20 years.

Our entire national conversation proceeds incorrectly from the assumption that immigrants’ wants and needs come first, and that we must solve their issues now that they are here.  No, we must solve this American problem completely.  To do that, we must change all the incentives, and we must put Americans first.

Richard Kelsey

Author: Richard Kelsey

Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.

He is an Attorney, a former Assistant Law School Dean, Law Professor, and Virginia state court law clerk. Dean Kelsey was also the CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud. He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV.

Rich graduated from George Mason law school, clerked for the Arlington Circuit Court, and later joined an AM LAW top 10 law firm practicing commercial litigation. He left the firm to be counsel and CEO to a consulting firm, rising to CEO of Turiss, LLC, a technology firm specializing in computer forensics, digital investigations, and fighting cyber-fraud through civil intel services and new technologies. Upon the sale of the company, Kelsey returned to Mason Law, where in the years before his return, he both taught at the school and served as President of the Law Alumni Association. Kelsey was the Assistant Dean for Management and Planning.

At Mason, Dean Kelsey taught legal writing and analysis and an advanced litigation seminar. In 2014 he was elected by the graduating class as the faculty speaker at their graduation. While serving the former George Mason Law, Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP.

Rich has appeared on radio, TV, and in print hundreds of times as both a legal expert and political and legal commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL. He writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com. He returned to private practice in September of 2016, and he is working on a book/expose on legal education.

In his free time, Rich is part of the baseball mafia of Northern Virginia, serving on numerous boards and as a little league and travel baseball coach.

Rich has many opinions, and they are his own. His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.

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