DACA – What Is It and Is It Good or Bad: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a policy that was implemented as an executive order under President Obama. Guest, Mark Gonzales, from the Hispanic Action Network, provides some insightful information on the subject. What should we, as Christian Republicans, be doing about DACA? Join us today as we discuss DACA, immigration, border security, chain migration, the definition of “nuclear family”, and more!Â
Air Date:Â 02/05/2018
Guest: Mark Gonzales
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. Â This is WallBuilders Live! Where we”re talking about today”s hottest topics on policy, faith, and other things in the culture. All of it from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.
We’re here with David Barton, he”s America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, he”s a national speaker and pastor, and he”s the president of WallBuilders. My name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator.
You can find out more about us and the program at WallBuildersLive.com. Also visit WallBuilders.com, our main website. There’s a wealth of information there for you to equip and inspire your family.
Later in the program, Mark Gonzales will be with us from the Hispanic Action Network. Right now we’re here with David and Tim. Guys, great program coming up today. This word “DACA” we’re seen in the media and lot of debate in Washington D.C. right now. But I’ve got to admit, sometimes I get confused on exactly what that means and what the policy is that’s being discussed.
Can you can you give the words for the acronym DACA? Do you know what it says?
I hear the crickets. I got it.
Yep, I fail.
DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Yeah. It’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It is a policy that was implemented as an executive order under President Obama. And it says that if you’re a minor, and you have come to America illegally, either by yourself or with your parents, but you’re here as a minor, you can apply for a deferral of that and you can apply for a work permit.
So, if you’re here illegally either on your own accord, as we saw so many young kids coming across the border by themselves for a long time, still come across some places, and or if you came with your parents, as a family, you’re here illegally as a minor, then we’re going to give you an opportunity to get a work permit.
So, what happened was, that was done by executive order. Now from a Constitutional standpoint – dead wrong. The president is not in charge of immigration – Congress is. Congress is the one. Article 1 Section 8 that establishes a uniform rule of naturalization.
They’re the ones that do that, not the president. The president acknowledged at the time that he did it that it was really a congressional thing, but he was doing it. So, when President Trump came in, he started reviewing previous executive orders. He repealed that executive order for DACA.
Now, it wasn’t that he opposed necessarily what it stood for because he then told Congress, “Hey Congress, if you guys want to do this, I’m giving you six months to decide on this, but from a Constitutional standpoint, the executive order is unconstitutional. President can’t make law, all he can do is enforce the laws that Congress gives him. But I’m giving you a certain period of time to be able to do something with this if this is a law that you want to keep.” So, that’s essentially where it’s been. It’s kind of been in a *.
A Negotiating Card
We saw it become a big issue in the recent government shutdown, if you can call it a shutdown. But Democrats took the position that that has to be part of what they get, otherwise the government is going to shut down etc.. So, they threw that on the table as a negotiating card. But it’s really the kind of– there’s two different aspects here. There’s a Constitutional aspect of it and there’s a public policy aspect side of this.
And so it gets confusing when you look at the two. I’ve got to say, what Trump did from a Constitutional standpoint is exactly right. This is a congressional responsibility, not a presidential one. But on the other side, from a policy standpoint, that’s where it becomes interesting. And that’s where we’ve got Mark Gonzales with U.S. Hispanic Action Network.
Mark, great guy, we’ve known Mark for years, very good friend. He has literally thousands of Hispanic churches his network. I don’t think anybody’s got his ear closer to the ground on this in helping us understand and actually explain what’s going on with this, and where it needs to go, and where Congress should go with this – if anywhere. So, Mark will be our guest.
He’s also the founder of the United States Hispanic Prayer Network. Mark Gonzales, our special guest. Stay with us. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
Hi, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders and I want to encourage all the pastors out there with a unique opportunity that we’re presenting it WallBuilders. We’re doing a special tour just for pastors that you can come and learn more about the spiritual heritage of our nation. Not just seeing the sights but understanding the significance of what they are and what they represent.
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If you’re a pastor or if you want to recommend your pastor for this trip, you can go to our website at www.WallBuilders.com. And there’s a link that’s for scheduling. Â If you click on that link there’s a section for pastor”s briefing. There’s more information about the dates, when it’s going, and how it’s going to happen. If you want to know more about our nation, our religious liberties, our freedom, our spiritual heritage, this is a trip you want to be a part of.
Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Welcome back. Our special guest today is Mark Gonzales. Mark, good to have you back, bro.
Hey, it’s good to be back. Yes, especially on this topic.
Hey, man, we’ve been talking about what does DACA actually mean, is it a law, it was apparently an executive order, basically, by President Obama. And Trump has basically thrown down the gauntlet with Congress and said, “This is in your court. You’ve got to get something done.” Help us understand how this is playing out and what you recommend gets done here.
Yes. Well, one of the things that we– why we believe so strongly in DACA is because there’s, I believe there’s a third wrong to this. We know the Constitutional piece, it wasn”t Constitutional the way it was done by the previous administration. We understand that dealing with this in the public policy light because we need law on the books that deal with this issue so it’s done right by Congress.
A Biblical Imperative
But also at the same time, as spiritual leaders, we also see a Biblical imperative here. The Word is clear that we don’t hold the sins of the fathers on the children. So, from that standpoint, we know immigration is very complex, but this piece of immigration, DACA, is, see, that’s not all of immigration. The issue here is sometimes because we start playing in it in the political realm, we start– it gets very muddy and we put in the broader perspective.
But DACA is just dealing with those who were brought here, no fault of their own, they had no issues, they couldn’t tell– My kids can’t tell me, when I say we’re going somewhere, “Oh, dad, I don’t want to go and that’s the way it’s going to be.” They’re going to have to follow me where I decide to go as the head of house. So, from that standpoint, they had no fault of their own.
And so now here we are, yes, some are grown adults now. But this is the only country they’ve ever known. So, if we go back to the foundational piece of this is that, hey, we can’t hold them accountable to that because they had no decision making into that decision, that was made by the parents. So, it’s in those three realms that we deal with DACA. And, yes, someone was brought here at 1 years old, 2 years, old 5 years old, and now they might be 20 and they may even be 30 – who knows.
But the thing is we have ourselves a situation that needs to be fixed and we need to move forward in doing that. And I believe we’re on that right track. Something does need to be done, but it has to be done through Congress. And we believe that we have the right leadership in place, our President as well as some leaders in Congress, to begin to deal with this matter and get it finally over the finish line and get it done right.
How does it– now the way, if I understand right, and I know this is dangerous to go off of Twitter. But the way I’m understanding some of these just short statements about the President’s proposal on this, is that a certain number, I can’t remember the exact number, but it’s several million–
1.8 million that are–
Okay, so, 1.8 million would be allowed to stay and even have a path to citizenship over time.
Yes, and that was a very surprising number. Because, again, the number that we’ve been dealing with is the 800,000 that are already in the system. They took it further back and say there’s a potential of these 1.8, so we’re going to even allow all of them to be able to get into this pathway and even have citizenship. So, that was a welcome piece of what he presented in his framework.
And what is the difference between– Because that is the sticking point I think for a lot of folks is whether they can become citizens or they can stay here legally. What is the difference in what he’s proposing for citizenship versus saying you basically would have the right to be here forever, but you couldn’t actually vote? Is that– do you think that’s going to make a difference in being able to get the votes to get this through?
Well, again, I think because everybody is looking at this with a little more compassionate tone, again, because it was dealing with children that had no real thoughts of their own coming here. I think however you end up framing it is going to be fine and we can get the support necessary. The issue here is, when you start layering it with all the other things – border security, ending chain migration, and the visa lottery system. The twenty five billion dollars that they want for the border wall and the security, those are the other issues they’re going to complicate this. And I think we could do something with the border security and the DACA thing even with citizenship.
“It”s Going to be Compromise and Negotiations”
It’s the chain migration and the visa lottery system which, to me, even that piece, that’s more into the immigration framework, not necessarily DACA framework. But, hey, this is– you know how this goes when it comes to politics, and our government, and Washington. It’s going to be compromise and negotiations – we’ll see where it goes. But the citizenship *, these kids have been here for a very long time. They’ve been adding value, they’ve been vetted, 90 percent of them have a job, going to school, serving in the military, getting degrees and universities.
So, these are the kind of students and individuals in society that we want in our country. Besides, we put all this time and investment into their education when they were going to school here and so forth and we should want to have some return on this investment. So, dealing with that I think that ** lays out. and that it. So, with the added citizens–
You mentioned the thing of the lottery system, and even of the chain migration. And I know those are really big issues in D.C. and they’re on the table as big bargaining chips. But I remember you telling me that for Hispanics, by and large, those aren’t issues to them. That ending the lottery system is fine, and ending chain migration is fine. And yet, it seems like that’s a big part of negotiations in D.C..
But who’s that representing? I mean, if Hispanics aren”t behind that, where’s it coming from?
Again, it goes back to the politics of the matter. Because for us, it’s always been about the nuclear family and that’s what the chain migration piece is all about.
Define “Nuclear Family”
Wait a minute, Mark, you”ve got to define “nuclear family”. It took me years to figure out what people meant by nuclear family, so what”s a nuclear family? Just define that.
The nuclear family means the mom, the dad, and the children, the immediate children. So, son and daughter and that’s it. Not aunt and uncle, not grandma and grandpa. As much as, yes, we would love them to be in the country as well, we want to keep the nuclear family, the household, together. And that’s what we’ve always supported and wanted.
Now we believe, we hope, that there can be an additional process put in place so those that also want to come here can. But what needs to remain solid is the family structure and that’s that nuclear family – mom and dad, son and daughter, to remain together. So, we’ve always supported that, but again, when you start playing politics with it, now you start talking about a) where you”re kicking people out and you’re pushing people out. And so from that standpoint, we are like, “Hey, we get it, but let’s keep the family together.”
Then on the visa lottery system, a lot of that ends up with a lot of these countries from the Middle East and so forth. And we get it – there’s bad elements coming in and because of our lottery system, because it’s lax folks get in here that shouldn’t be in our country. So, we need to tighten it up or remove it altogether. We’ll leave that to our lawmakers. You guys do that, but let’s keep the families together and let”s deal with the children that were here from no fault of their own.
Get the Hard Stuff Over the Finish Line
And then let”s fix this broader system. I think we can get this thing done if we do what is right and quit playing politics with this issue. That’s what we”re praying for – that our leaders, elected officials in Washington, will finally do what they’ve been elected to do – deal with the hard complex issues of our nation, of our day, and get this thing over the finish line.
Hey, Mark, we saw a poll, actually done by Harvard, and we talked about it last week on our program that look like Hispanics were highly in favor of more border security. What was the other issue, David?
There were two major issues in that poll.
Here’s the poll – the Harris poll last week we talked about said that 72 percent of Hispanic voters say immigration should be based on a person’s ability to contribute to America, as measured by their education skills, rather than being based on a person having relatives in the U.S.. And 81 percent said that they prefer to secure border over, basically, open borders. So, those are two numbers out of that Harvard poll from last week.
And, yes, and again you’ve got to be mindful that a lot of the reason folks are coming is, at times, because of coming from places that don’t have security, that have got cartel, got– you have all this violence and things that are going on. So, we want a secure country and that’s what people fail to realize. They think just because you’re Hispanic and you’re advocating for immigration, “Oh, you just want open borders.” No we don’t, okay.
“We Want a Secure Country”
We want a secure country. If it means building the border, let’s build the wall. But what we want to know even more so is, what are you going to do beyond the wall? We can’t stop there because building the border wall is not immigration – that’s security. We need to deal with the immigration system.
There’s millions of people on backlog, there’s over six years of waiting time, you’ve got all these things. It is broken, it needs to be fixed, and we need to allow our leaders to do that. And Hispanics, for the most part, are in line with what we’re looking at right now. We’re not too far out.
Again, a lot of it is, you know, there”s the fine line, the fine details, that we don’t always agree on everything. But as we all know we’re not going to agree on everything, so let’s make this thing better and let’s fix it.
Mark, hearing you talk about it, I think most folks would kind of say, “You know, that really sounds conservative.” And certainly the numbers that we threw out there from the Harvard poll, that makes most Hispanics sound conservative. That’s certainly not what you get on national media. The kind of positions you’re talking about, the kind of common sense stuff you’re talking about, is not what we hear from most national spokesman. And it’s not what we see from most political leaders who advocate for open border, almost across the board, as being an immigration position.
You’re really saying something that really reflects where most Hispanics are and it sounds very conservative. But that’s just not what most folks are used to hearing from Hispanics in the immigration debate.
No, and we’ve dealt with this personally. I’ve been a longtime advocate for this just, again, because I am Hispanic and have one of the largest grassroots level networks in the country. So, we’re dealing with this in Washington with congressmen and senators. And a lot of times, just because you’re Hispanic and you start talking favorably, defend the issue. Because what you would come to realize if you let us talk is we”re almost the same on the issue.
Dealing With the Layers
We’re close. And so from that standpoint, automatically people tag me with, “Oh, man, you’re Hispanic. You just want open borders.” No we don’t. We want security, but we also want to deal with the rest of immigration which deals with all kinds of other layers. And, David, as you know, we”ve had this discussion, one thing, you verify.
There’s all these other layers that need to be dealt with in the overall immigration process. But like I’ve said before, DACA is the lowest hanging fruit that we have of the immigration piece and we need to get this done. And I believe it’s also Biblical, a Biblical imperative, for us to do so and we need to get it done.
But the part– one of the issues that I believe, and because past administrations leading up to now have not done this, is the trust factor. The American people, as we all know, right, Congress has the lowest ratings than all our elected officials, and our president, and the administration, and so forth. Because they don’t trust that what we say as the government we’re going to do as the government. And because of that, we haven’t been able to do certain things. So, if the wall means that the trust factor becomes elevated, because we actually secure the border, I’m saying build the wall, do we need to do.
The border crossings are already down by 80 plus percent. I just came from the border, met with leadership at the border, and met with them, and I talked to them on the ground. And they said, “Mark, the numbers are higher than what are being said in the media.” In other words, crossings are already down. So, build the border if it means– because there are some areas that still have issues.
This bill, this thing, let”s put this thing out there so we can move forward and fix the rest of these issues when it comes to overall– we want to call it comprehensive immigration reform. And all comprehensive means, David, and this is what I want to clarify, because comprehensive doesn’t mean, “Oh, you just want everything.” No, comprehensive means we need to get beyond just border enforcement measures. It’s not just about bringing down the hammer and ** the law piece. It’s also about dealing with the legality of fixing the system that’s been broken so people can come in here legally.
So, those are the issues that we need to deal with.
The Numbers Are Going Down
Hey, Mark, let me get you to clarify real quick– So, you said when you were on the border they said the numbers are higher than is being reported. Did you mean the number in terms of how much it’s gone down?
Yes, it”s gone down. I was in the Rio Grande Valley, and the Rio Grande Valley, they said the crossings are down 90 percent.
We”re just tired of being deported. Seventy five percent is the number that’s being used right now. On the Rio Grande Valley, it’s up to 90 percent of crossings that are not– it’s gone down to 90 percent. Almost nobody’s crossing like they used to in the Rio Grande Valley. We know that’s the most, if you want to call it porous area, or the area that most will come across, those numbers are way down.
And there’s a law that– they have a law by the way. Okay, let me rephrase that. They already have a law, but it wasn’t a law that kept this thing from going on. It’s the new mindset that we have on immigration, border security, getting tough on the criminal elements, doing these things that we all favor. We don’t want the criminal element in here, okay.
We want those that are going to be adding value to our country and society. So, we– and because that has been the mindset of this administration, the crossings by themselves have already gone down.
It Is Working
And so that’s what we”ve also got to be mindful of. But, again, if we want to spend 25 billion dollars on building this border because we need to– now, we know that not all 25 billion is going on the actual border. There are surveillance cameras, boots on the ground, everything, you know a plethora of things are going to come into play when it comes to security. But the point is, the effect is already being felt. We’re already seeing this take effect on the border regions and so it is working.
So, now we just have to be able to go forward with the rest of this to fix the rest of the immigration situation. Again, with DACA being the lowest hanging fruit.
Mark, before we let you go here, so let me just make sure we summarize this and you tell me if I’m getting this accurately. So, from your perspective, doing both the security and the DACA plan works. Because the American people need to know that, “Okay, if we do this, if we allow for a path to citizenship for this seven or eight hundred thousand, that could potentially be up to 1.8 million, that we are going to stop the flow. We’re not going to have to do this again in five years, 10 years, 15 years, whatever it might be.” Is that an accurate description?
Because I think the big sticking point is definitely the whole path to citizenship thing. And Trump’s not saying “automatic”. They”ve got to have not been– no criminal record, get an education, getting a job, those sorts of things. So, there are some requirements there. But there’s no question that’s the number one sticking point.
And so people have got to know the tradeoff is worth it. If you do this, you get the security to prevent it from happening in the future. Is that accurate? Am I saying that right?
From Reagan to Now on Immigration
Yes. And we get that security– because the whole thing is we don’t want to be here all over again, right? If we don’t want to go from Reagan to where we are now when it comes to immigration. Because that’s kind of where it started with President Reagan when he opened up the– and he actually did do an amnesty bill.
This is not amnesty. And then now they said, “Okay, we can’t repeat this.” So, by putting these things in place, these parameters, the wall, and all this law in place, it allows it to not happen again. The American people can see that, and folks can see that, I believe we can get over the finish line with the other things that we need to deal with to finally fix immigration once and for all.
Mark, your website – HispanicActionNetwork.com, right?
Alright, HispanicActionNetwork.com. Mark Gonzales, appreciate your time today, brother. Thanks for coming on.
No, thank you for discussing this topic. It”s very important to our country right now.
That was Mark Gonzales from the Hispanic Action Network. Again, the website – HispanicActionNetwork.com. David, Tim, so what do you think? Is this actually a doable plan? I’ve seen some headlines from Breitbart and others starting to nickname Trump “amnesty dawn” over this.
It is politics, you’ve got to compromise, you”ve got to put enough on the table to get deals done. This sounds pretty reasonable to me and you guys know, I’ve always been against a path to citizenship if you came here illegally. But this limited piece of this in order to get the bigger picture sounds like what you’re going to have to do to get this done.
Do Not Hold the Children Accountable for the Sins of the Father
Well, I think Mark hit it exactly right on this issue. And Mark is extremely conservative on this issue. A Hispanic, and by the way, I’ve seen him put 50,000 Hispanics in a stadium just in a short period. He is connected in Hispanic community, has a massive network. And you’ll never see him on CNN, MSNBC, or anything else, because it is not the mantra the Democrats claim to have is they claim to represent Hispanics.
Mark is the guy who can actually put the bodies in the seats out there. So, having said that, with Mark, he makes the point that you do not– Bible says you do not hold children accountable for the sins of their fathers. And he’s exactly right. That’s why the Constitution does not allow what’s called a “bill of attainder”. You do not punish the children for what the parents did wrong.
So, this small group of kids, well it”s not a small group, but this small knish of kids may be up to 1.8 million. They came here because their parents brought them here. That’s a whole different thing from them making a volitional choice of their own. So, I think that’s exactly right.
This is– and by the way, as Mark said, this is the only country these guys have known. They’ve grown up here, this is their country now. And if they can meet those requirements– and we’re not talking amnesty, and we’re not talking path to citizenship, for those that knowingly came here and broke the law, there should be no path to citizenship. And there’s a whole lot of Hispanics who agree with that.
The Immigration Process is Broken
Now, you might can get a green card and have a worker permit here, but you can’t be a voting citizen here because you broke the law to get here. But for others that came here the right way, and Mark’s right, the immigration process is broken. It should not take you six years to get a decision on whether you can be a citizen here or not, whether you can be an immigrant. All that’s crazy. The lottery system, the quota system that we have, all that needs to be fixed.
But I think Mark is exactly right on so many of the issues here concerning immigration.
DACA – What Is It and Is It Good or Bad?
Alright, well we’ll see what’s going to happen. A lot a lot of rhetoric around this issue being thrown in Washington D.C. of course. It sounds like President Trump definitely wants to get something done here. And I did notice, as I mentioned, Twitter is not the best place to get your information. But sometimes you have to go there to get what the president really wants to say through the media.
And he said, “Hey, I”ve thrown down the gauntlet with this to prove that the Democrats don’t want to get DACA done. They’re just using it. And so we’ll see how they actually respond.
Thanks for listening today, folks. Thanks to Mark Gonzales for joining us today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.