For all of Congress’ hot-air blustering, its trademark ineffectiveness is most recently on display with its refusal to even vote on legislation concerning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
DACA defers deportation of persons who were brought to the United States as children under the age of 16 if they meet other requirements. President Obama initiated the DACA program after the repeated failure of Congress to pass the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors — or DREAM — Act.
In September, Trump announced that he was ending the program and that it would expire in six months — or March 6. He hoped the deadline would give Congress real incentive to pass a legislative fix.
That date has come and gone, and still there is no solution.
Even though the judicial branch has provided a reprieve when a federal district court in California enjoined enforcement of Trump’s order, “Dreamers” are still in an unfair state of limbo.
Congressional action is a no-brainer. A Tribune/Hinckley Institute poll in January had 69 percent of Utahns wanting a solution that allows Dreamers to stay and work in the country that gave them a path to success. That includes 61 percent of Utahns who say they are Republicans. National polls have shown similar or even higher approval.
One would think that with such large support, Congress could at last get something done. One would be wrong, and Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, has had enough of it.
We have commended Love for her compassionate stance on supporting a DACA fix for young adults who know no other home than this country, and who add to our rich, collective culture and economy.
She co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to keep some of those protections, and she deserves commendation again for signing a discharge petition earlier this week, against party leadership, that would force a vote on the House floor of legislation that deals with DACA and border security.
About the petition, Love said, “If the bills are not allowed to come to the floor and to be debated on the floor, then we can’t say the people have a voice. If we don’t vote for something, we get absolutely nothing.”
The 10,500 Dreamers in Utah over the last five years deserve finality on this issue.
For cowardly and stubborn reasons, Congress won’t even vote on issues anymore. Because if lawmakers vote, we can hold them accountable.
We still should.
Correction: May 10, 7:30 p.m. • An earlier version of this editorial misstated the name of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors program.