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DACA Revisited

In the last few days, there have been a lot of talk and a lot of anger regarding President Trump's DACA decision.   I didn't vote for Trump but I think Trump was right to ask Congress to decide the future of DACA recipients.    The legislative branch -- U.S. Congress makes laws; the Executive branch -- President carries out the law.   President Obama overstepped his authority by making this DACA law by presidential decree, by doing so he opened a can of worms of moral hazards.   There are too many issues with this program that need to be discussed.

First, it’s about the question of fairness from an economic standpoint.    The cost of supporting the illegal immigrants and DACA recipients fall mostly on the poor and middle-class American taxpayers.    Regarding the 19th California Congressional district, it’s the property owners in the district who pay for most of this cost.    

According to the research by National Public Radio:

In the U.S., school funding comes from a combination of three sources. The balance varies from state to state but, on average, looks like this: 45 percent local money, 45 percent from the state and 10 percent federal.

Which brings us back to where we began this story: Why is it that one Chicago-area district has $9,794 to spend on each of its students, while another, nearby district has three times that?

Two words: property tax.”

Basically the property owners in Zoe Lofgren’s district pay for most of the cost of educating DACA children in the district through property taxes (which makes up the majority of the 45% share of the local money), state taxes, and federal taxes.    Sure the property owners in Palo Alto also pay their property taxes, but there are very few DACA recipients in the rich school districts like Palo Alto high compared to the poorer school districts like San Jose High.    I don’t think it’s fair that the American taxpayers who have the least have the pay the most.   Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is not doing her job of representing the interest of American taxpayers and property owners in her district by forcing us to pay for the DACA recipients while depriving our American children the funding they need to prosper.   I know, my nieces and nephews go to schools in Zoe Lofgren’s districts and they are vastly underfunded compared to Palo Alto’s.   

Source:  NPR.   Notice that the spending per student in school districts in Zoe Lofgren's is at least -33% below national average.

To understand why her immigration stand actually hurts American middle-class, I highly recommend that you check out the book “We Wanted Workers:   Unraveling the Immigration Narrative” by George J. Borjas who is an economic professor at Harvard and one of the world’s top experts on immigration economics.     Dr. Borjas is an immigrant himself — a political refugee from Cuba.    He said,

“Immigration transfers half a trillion dollars from workers to firms. One doesn’t have to be a PhD in economics to recognize that immigration is an economic boon for the capitalist class, especially the Wall Street bankers who own via debt financing most American corporations.

It actually fit Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren’s record of pandering to the multinational corporations and the 0.001% who want a cheap source of labor at the expense of American middle-class.   It’s no surprise that during her years in Congress, the American middle-class in Silicon Valley has been decimated.   Whatever talk she said about morality regarding the DACA recipient or diversity or the protection of illegal immigrants, it’s just a thinly veiled disguise for her corruption.   She is perpetuating the huge economic inequality in America and her stand on the issues enabled the rise of President Trump.     The Democrats accuse the Republicans of ignoring scientific studies on climate change.    Yeah it's bad.   But the Democrats are the ones who ignore the economic laws of supply-and-demand.    To say that the 12-million-plus illegal immigrants and another 1.5 million H-1Bs have no economic effect on American workers and high-tech professionals is just another deception.     The fact remain that the wages of working Americans have not increased in the last 40 years due to uncontrolled immigration.

Source:  The New York Times (August 20, 2017 - "The Rise in Economic Inequality in the U.S.")

If you have the formal training in math and economics, I highly recommend Dr. Borjas' other book “Immigration Economics,” with mathematical equations and mathematical models to illustrate his points.    I challenge Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren to go through the math equations and see for herself.    Or perhaps she is not qualified to do it?     I went through the math and I think the author has done a fantastic job (remember that I took quite a couple of graduate-level economic classes at Stanford).  I challenge her because there is a propaganda lie from the Democratic establishment that anyone who is against uncontrolled immigration is a know-nothing.   Guess what?   The know-nothing actually knows more about the subject than the Democratic establishment.   Of course I am more qualified than her to talk about economic issues since not only I have had formal training in economics at one of the world's top institutions, I have also worked as a janitor, cook at fast-food outlets, college professor, and doctor-in-training so  who I know what the lower-middle and middle-class American experiences are like.

The economic unfairness needs to be discussed during any law regarding DACA.    I believe that the U.S. government should reimburse the cost of educating the DACA recipients to the schools where the DACA recipients went.    For example, the poorer school districts such as San Jose should receive a much larger reimbursement than the richer school district.   Let say $12,000 per DACA recipient per year.    It even better if they provide the funding so that the school’s funding would match the U.S. average.   It’s quite a national embarrassment to see the annual funding per student at a school district in San Jose in one of the most prosperous regions in the U.S. is 40% below the U.S. average.    

Second, is it fair for a DACA recipients to ignore American laws and being rewarded for it while other people who are in much worse situations (refugee camps) waiting for years to enter the U.S. legally?    I read quite a few of the DACA recipients’ stories (intended to evoke a sense of guilt and sympathy from the readers) and I just see a sense of entitlement.     For example, one 23-year-old man complained of having to worked to support his younger siblings now that their parents have been deported.    Let me see, he is 23-year-old, an adult, and he doesn’t think that he should work?    It doesn’t sound like hardship to me.     When I was younger (around age 8) in Communist Vietnam, my parents were in Communist prison and my siblings and I had to get up at 2AM in the morning and walked 2 miles from our house crossing a dark cemetery with no street light to get in line for the government shop to open at 9AM.      That’s hardship.   I am sure the parents of the Google’s cofounders Sergrey Brin would have similar experience living in Communist U.S.S.R.    And both they and my family followed American laws waiting for years to come to the U.S. as political refugees.    The parents of these DACA recipients knowingly ignore American laws and we are supposed to reward them?     Sure, it’s not their fault since they were too young when they were brought to the U.S.    For that I agree, but I do want to see deterrence to prevent future happenings of such bad behavior.   By not having a deterrence, the U.S. Congress is sending a message to the whole world saying it’s perfectly fine to ignore American laws.    Just send your children to the U.S. and the American taxpayers will babysit their children for them at our own expenses.     If there was any indication, just take a look at the Dream Act sponsoring by our Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.    Last time it was mentioned, almost overnight, there were hundreds of thousands of children flooding into our southern border from Central America.     It was said that the children came because of the gang violence there.    Guess what?   The gang violence has been there for the last 30 years, so why suddenly there were a flood of children coming to the U.S. right after the Dream Act was announced.   

I personally like the approach that Germany took last year during the refugee crisis by allocating more refugees to richer districts than poorer ones so that the poor are not disproportionally affected.    It shows a sense of compassion but also an awareness of social justice.    We should take a similar approach in the U.S.     Any discussion on granting permanent residency to DACA recipients should addressing the issue of economic injustice of forcing poorer districts like the 19th Congressional district to pay for the education of DACA recipients while allowing the 0.001% and multinational corporations to benefit from a cheap and exploitable source of labor.   The issue of fairness for those who suffer greatly but who still follow American laws need to be addressed as well.    Why rewarding the people who ignore American immigration laws while punishing those who follow our laws?    And we also need to talk about how to prevent something like this in the future so that in 20-year time, we won't be talking another round of amnesty that will open a pandora box of moral hazards.

Yes, we need compassion but we also need fairness.    Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren's message so far over the years has been turning American taxpayers (especially property owners in her district) into baby-sitters at our own expense.    Her message to the whole world has been "Come on in, send your babies to us and we baby-sit them for you for free."    Fairness to the people who had suffered much more hardship than the DACA recipients but still following American immigration law has never crossed her mind.    And forget about any kind of enforcement of our immigration law that prevents future illegal behavior, she has come out against E-Verify or similar measures every time.   Because of her stand on this issue, the DACA recipients can forget about any law passing in Congress within the next 6 months that grants them the permanent residency that they have been dreaming -- Without stronger enforcement, you can forget about it.    Whatever Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren tells the DACA recipients -- you will be granted permanent residency without stronger enforcement -- is just a LIE -- it will NOT happen.   What she has proposed so far is not something most Americans  want to support, that's why for the past 20 years, the idea of giving legal residency to children brought here illegally without any strings attached has FAILED and FAILED again in Congress.    What make the DACA recipients think that it will be different this time?   Americans are law-abiding citizens.    Breaking American laws have consequences.    

What I want to see is that if our government wants doesn't want to enforce immigration law, then it needs to pay for the cost of education, healthcare, etc for these people rather than forcing lower-class and middle-class Americans to pay for them.    Secondly, I want to see a higher standard set for the qualification of granting legal residence to the DACA recipients -- only those who join the military, or graduate from college with a 4-year degree, or currently attend a similar program would qualify (not finishing high school or just taking a PE class at a community college doesn't qualify).    They will also be at the end of the line behind the people who are currently in the queue to legally apply for permanent residency.    I also want to see much stronger enforcement of American immigration law.    

As for Trump's wall, I don't believe in it.   There is a 290 miles of ocean between the northern coast of Africa and the Italian island of Lampedusa and even with this 290 miles of dangerous ocean, there are still hundreds of thousands of immigrants crossing annually; building a 30-foot fence between the U.S. and Mexico won't cut it.   What effective are the deals that the European Union strike with Turkey and Italy with the Libyan groups allowing the E.U. and Italy to return the people to the points of departures.    Almost overnight, the number of people crossing the ocean drops by 90%.    Not only that, there are much stronger enforcement of immigration laws in the E.U regarding employment, housing, education, healthcare, even transportation.   For example, as a student in the Netherlands (one of the most advanced and liberal countries in Europe where there is universal healthcare and you can order marijuana at a coffee shop, etc), I was required to maintain at least $8,000 in my bank account at all time to cover for living expenses, to submit proof of having health insurance, to register with the local police regarding my address and my landlord would check my paperwork to make sure I had the proper paperwork before renting a house to me, and I must attend classes at least 90% of the time.    Each year, they actually sent me a letter 3 months before the expiration date telling me that unless I resubmitted all documentation and proof of having the financial mean and health insurance again, they would promptly deport me.    The French also enforces their immigration law -- Good luck finding work, housing, schooling, healthcare, even buying a train ticket without the proper paperwork in France.   My experience living in these liberal countries who do enforce their immigration law compares to a story about a foreign student attending a college in San Jose but he was accidentally caught working for a gas station in Texas when a crime occurred at the station.   This tells me that the enforcement of immigration law in the U.S. is a joke.

These comments were taken from the New York Times, the Washingtonpost among other credible news sources out there.   They reflect the voices of Americans from across the U.S.A. on the issue that I mentioned above.

Robert Minneapolis 25 minutes ago

As much as I cannot stand Trump, he may have this one right. This is the job of Congress. Presidents should not be taking all sorts of unilateral actions that courts will strike down. Even Obama said he could not do what he ultimately did. Now Congress should craft a workable policy. Good luck on that, I know.

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John SF 10 hours ago

I sympathize with these "Dreamers". It would be disastrous to deport those poor young souls back to communities alien to them. However, I say however, they should STOP acting as if they are "entitled" to the rights to stay. The United States is a sovereignty with borders and laws; it is NOT a refugee camp. 

The ugly truth is, strictly legally speaking, the "Dreamers" have been at the mercy of the U.S. Government and Congress, both have NO obligation to them, the moment they were brought into this country. If they are allowed to stay, it will be a signal to the rest of the world: "smuggle your kids into the U.S. when they are little and they WILL be taken care of".

Is it fair for all those LEGAL immigrants who endured long waits and procedures and overcame great odds to obtain their status in this country? Let me be blunt, NO. Laws, with all their flaws, are established for fairness. DACA or any other potential legislations shielding or perhaps giving legal status to these illegal immigrants, though sounds morally appealing, are a breach of that fairness.

I'm a hard-working foreign student. After graduation I will benefit from STEM legislation, to which I'm grateful. Now it will be extremely hard for me to obtain a working visa or a green card. Why, for the love of God, should these people be allowed to swoop in and take what I would have to fight for?? True, they are law-abiding, but I am TOO. They shall NOT be favored just because they are smuggled in when they were kids.

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Jerome Manhattan 19 minutes ago

My mom had to spend 4 years in an underserved rural community as I was growing up as a physician to stay a legal immigrant on a J-1 visa and she worked hard to get her citizenship. There were weeks where I wouldn't see her when I was just a kid. I didn't even receive my citizenship until I was an adult though I had lived here since I was four years old.

Sorry but there are rules in this country. I'm not okay with people who feel entitled to staying here just by virtue of having grown up here. Please play by the rules the way that the rest of us legal immigrants have. Lots of us have tough circumstances. If Congress can find a way to enact legislation to ensure the DACA kids can stay and based upon the services they provide then I am for a merit-based form of legal immigration but spare me the theatrics and the drama. No one said living here was a right or was ever fair or easy.

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Jason NJ 1 hour ago

As a legal "non"immigrant under H-1B status, I'm confused, at the same time, angered at how the US people treat DACA. For me, only one thing came to mind: unfair.
As H-1B worker, I went to college in the US, has a Master's degree from top tier graduate school and is father of a US Citizen. I when through all the USCIS procedures, as well as the lottery, to even get on to H-1B. I pay my taxes. I work hard, contribute to my community and embrace American values. So do many of my co-workers who are also under H-1B.
And yet, if I lost my job, my life will be immediately in a limbo. I face immediate threat of deportation, and I face the danger of losing everything I ever have built for years residing in the US. I need to wait 10+ years for my green card, provided my employer being able to prove no available US worker is willing to take my job.
Now, those DACAs who break the law in the first place, might get a chance to jump in front of lines of all skilled workers like me and my co-workers. Why they got to have EADs while our H-1B workers, even with a Green Card petition approved, are not be eligible for EAD (most of the cases)? It's totally UNFAIR. Don't tell me "heart".
There is no heart here, people following laws are punished while those who broke the laws are rewarded. That's not heart!

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Chris Devereaux Los Angeles, CA 1 day ago

There is a very logical response to the question of why:

In order to put out a fire, you must first contain it and stop its spread.

The same can be said of illegal immigration. You cannot seriously claim to be tackling illegal immigration if you do not first attempt to STOP its growth. The simplest way to stop growth is to change existing policies which allow parents to ship "unaccompanied" minors to the US where we then take over parenting roles and have no recourse for deportation. If it continues this way, we will have Dreamers for generations to come.

The point of legitimizing Dreamers with a path to citizenship is to ensure we don't have to repeat the same mistakes in another couple of decades by rewarding illegals with citizenship. Trump's approach is common sense and this opinion piece does a poor job of refuting it.

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Celtic Goddess Northern New Jersey 2 days ago

I'm a life long liberal Democrat. While it might be heresy among my brethren I'm going to put into writing here what many Americans feel:
Here in the USA there are children struggling with violence in Detroit, Compton, Chicago and many other cities. In rural American, where there are no job or education prospects, children struggle with rampant drug problems. Call me racist, call me callous, call me whatever you like - but the reality is, the more we "coddle" these unaccompanied minors who simple cross over into our country - the more encouragement we provide for other Central American parents to do the same. HARD decisions must be made to discourage these people from sending their children to the USA. Let them to work to improve the situation in their homelands. The more encouragement we provide, the greater the number of children who are sexually and physically assaulted and yes - even die - in transit. Money is finite. The developmentally disabled and our veterans struggle to get the services they need. It will take RADICAL change in Washington to have the wealthiest nation in the world provide at a commensurate level the social services it own citizens deserve.  Even if that change were to arrive (wishful thinking) it will not change the fact that money is finite. The number of people fleeing violence and extreme poverty will always be greater than what we can sustain. Discouragement, not a wall will stem the tide

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