Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Why is country of origin relevant to DACA?

This is a question, not a polemic. I really want to know. What is confusing about Trump's "s***hole countries" comment is the fact that this came up in the context of DACA. That is people who entered the country illegally as children, who as adults have either gone to college or joined the military, and who have no criminal record. While one could argue that country of origin might be relevant to overall immigration policy, so that on a merit-based system we might limit entry from countries on the basis of how well they might contribute to our society once they arrived (those from the poorest countries are least likely to be contributors to our society, one might reason), I don't see how in the world this applies to DACA-type cases where innocent illegal immigrants have shown there ability to contribute to America.
I am not here defending or criticizing the "merit-based" viewpoint on immigration. I just fail to see the relevance of these considerations to Dreamers. What these people have done since arriving in our country dwarfs the significance of country of origin in these cases, it seems to me. And if they have done all the since coming from a s***hole, it seems even more meritorious for them to have done what they have done, and extra cruel to send them back there.
Or did I misunderstand Trump?

4 comments:

Legion of Logic said...

All the research I've done indicates it was in reference to the visa lottery program, which brings in new people. Do you have a source putting it in context of people brought here as children?

Joe Hinman said...

Yes I think that's right it emerged on the visa lottery program, that was the context,

Victor Reppert said...

This is helpful, explaining something I didn't understand. But I would add that even on the best construction, it still is a seriously foolish comment. What will happen when Trump wants to send an ambassador to Haiti? You're sending me where? Thanks a lot! How many new ISIS recruits have been made since the President called their country a s***hole?

Legion of Logic said...

It was a dumb comment that did not at all benefit the point he was trying to make, which was the value to American society that a given immigrant brings, but of course the only reason we heard about it was because it was leaked to the press by anonymous sources. While it is entirely within Trump's behavior to say it, these days I am increasingly skeptical to take anything from anonymous leaks at face value. It's too easy to lie and find someone in the media willing to report the lie, particularly on something that can't be proven either way.

In this case I'll accept it as true because A) it's within his behavior, but most importantly B) the White House never flat-out denied it. If the White House had denied it, well, liars will lie, and Washington is filled with liars. I wouldn't base opinions of anyone from either side on hearsay from anonymous sources that I can't verify for myself.

Also, I'm pretty sure if we heard everything that every president said behind closed doors, none of them would look like saints. There's enough about Trump to raise eyebrows without relying on private comments leaked to the press by anonymous unverifiable sources.