House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) privately told a group of House conservatives that he plans to include DACA in the year-end spending bill, according to numerous accounts in the media. The move would be perceived as a major slap in the face to voters who handed Republicans control of both houses of Congress and the White House based on pledges to stop illegal immigration and oppose any attempts at amnesty.
Although the White House has yet to comment on the idea, Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), a national champion of immigration enforcement, said the move would be a "big problem." That's because any end of year spending bill will be regarded by most as must-pass - or shutdown the government - legislation, which will offer little or no room for compromise or amendments.
More importantly, Ryan is squandering the leverage that Republicans have to gain with immigration reforms that enjoy broad public support. These include border security, mandatory E-Verify, a merit-based legal immigration system, and other reforms that would benefit the American people. All of these public interest immigration reforms have, at one time or another, been embraced by Democratic leaders - including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
FAIR estimates that roughly 723,000 illegal aliens would qualify for a DACA amnesty. More troubling, it's estimated that each DACA recipient would then qualify to eventually petition for the legal admission of 3 to 4 additional family members. The DREAM Act, which is also on the Democrats' wish list, would offer amnesty for more than 3.3 million illegal aliens.
Dan Stein is the president of the Federation on American Immigration Reform.