Disclaimer: This is a letter to the editor and does not reflect the values or beliefs of the Daily Forty-Niner.
As an alumnus of Long Beach State, I was displeased to find the current university president patronizing alumni in her attempt to support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
President Jane Close Conoley sent out an email Sept. 5 entitled “Standing with our Dreamers” from the university’s alumni email account. In it, she announced that the university and the California State University system had signed a letter in support of DACA.
There are many arguments for and against DACA. Conoley certainly lists the former in her email, such as that Dreamers (DACA recipients) enrich both the university’s student and alumni communities. Yet the case before the Supreme Court has nothing to do with whether DACA provides good things, thus rendering Conoley’s entire argument moot. Instead, it has everything to do with legality.
DACA was never passed by Congress, but instead came about as an executive action by President Obama in 2012. Such executive actions had been commonly used by the previous, Republican administration of George W. Bush during his war on terror.
Even then, many Democrats objected to Bush’s sidestepping of Congress as unconstitutional.
Yet President Obama took executive power one step further.
Worse, Obama and his fans discovered in 2017 that what can be unilaterally put in place via executive action can also be displaced by similar means.
Instead of working on a grand compromise with Trump regarding Dreamers, border security and broader immigration reform, Democrats went for the jugular as they tried to shame the president into passing a law legalizing the Dreamers. The apex of this occurred during Democrats’ short-lived and disastrous 2018 government shutdown.
Undeterred, Democrats turned to the courts, which had been packed by mini-Obama ideologues during the former president’s tenure. This was thanks in part to the Democratic-controlled Senate’s decision to do away with the requirement that most lifetime federal judicial appointees be approved by a supermajority of 60 senators.
As a result, several lawsuits were successful in preventing the Trump administration’s termination of DACA. For those interested, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund gives a good timeline on these cases
You can argue that the Trump Administration didn’t follow legal protocol when it rescinded DACA and, therefore, should be forced to reinstate the program. Or, you can argue that President Obama acted like a tyrant when he sidestepped Congress’s constitutional powers by legalizing millions of undocumented immigrants. Both are valid and should be examined according to the tenets of our laws.
But to say that a president’s executive power should be expanded like it was under Obama simply because Dreamers are good people, well, that doesn’t hold water. In fact, it is patronizing: basically, Conoley doesn’t feel the need to provide a legal, logical rationale for why she supports the plaintiffs against the Trump administration. Rather, she thinks she can play the strings of my heart by appealing to my feelings.
Conoley, I am sorry, but I demand more respect. I didn’t attend a university just to become a mindless drone who would support the expansion of monarchical powers of the American presidency because it makes me feel good. No, appeal to my logic. Otherwise, do not appeal at all.