Bloggings on Immigration Law

by Roger Algase

Comparing Obama's and Romneys Promises About DACA Is Like Comparing The Weather In New York and Los Angeles.

Mitt Romney made quite a stir on Monday, October 1 by telling the Denver Post that he would keep at least some of President Obama's DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) initiative in place if he becomes president. But how many people would actually benefit from Romney's plan? Let's take a closer look at his statement, which was as follows:

"The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I'm not going to take something that they've purchased. Before those visas have expired, we will have the full immigration reform plan that I've proposed."

What stands out about the above statement is that people who have aleady received the "special visa" (which of course is not a visa at all, but only a two-year temporary reprieve from deportation), will be protected. Romney says nothing about what he would do in the case of the 100,000 or so people whose applications for deferred action are still in process, according to the NYT, or the more than a million eligible students who might want to apply for DACA in the future. He has made no promise to keep DACA protection in place for any of them.

According to the New York Times, as mentioned in Tuesday's ID (October 2), only 29 DACA applicants have actually had their applications approved so far, out of about 100,000 who have applied. About 63,000 cases are said to be in the "final stages of processing", whatever that means. 

There is an old joke by the Broadway comedy writer Neil Simon, about the difference between the weather in New York and Los Angeles. I repeat it here with all due apologies to my good friends in Southern California. 

According to Neil Simon's joke, "When it's 100 in New York, it's 72 in Los Angeles. When it's 20 in New York, it's 72 in Los Angeles. However, there are six million interesting people in New York - and 72 in Los Angeles."

Transposing this joke into the DACA context, one could say that while Obama has already deported more than a million people, the number of times Romney has spoken out in favor of "self-deportation" is 29. And while the number of times that the Obama administration has said it would lower its target of 400,000 deportations per year is zero, the number of speeches Romney has made opposing any form of relief from deportation is 29. 

And if Obama is reelected, more than a million deserving young students have been estimated to be eligible to benefit from DACA. If Romney were to become president tomorrow, the number would be - 29.

About The Author

Roger Algase is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing business immigration law in New York City for more than 20 years

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.