Paper Example. DACA, TPS, and Modern Slavery

Published: 2023-08-22
Paper Example. DACA, TPS, and Modern Slavery
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  United States Immigration Social issue Donald Trump Barack Obama
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1577 words
14 min read

American citizens’ attitudes about immigration can be distinguished in three periods (Martin, & Duignan, p.3). The first period was the laissez-faire era in which there were very few limits on immigrant arrivals. The laissez-faire period happened between 1780 and 1875. Immigration laws were handled by State governments consequently, America had an open border attitude towards immigration. Anyone from anywhere could enter the country (p.4). The second period was the era of qualitative restrictions that lasted from 1875 to 1920(p.5). Immigration law fell under the jurisdiction of the Federal government and it enacted laws that denied access to legal immigration to protect the public from foreign convicted criminals, prostitutes, and nations deemed culturally incompatible with American values (p.5). Hence federal laws were enacted to ban all immigration from China and Japan only avoided a similar ban because of a bilateral agreement to limit the number of visas each country would issue to its citizens to travel between the two nations (Zolberg, "Rethinking the last 200 years of US immigration policy"). The 1917 Immigration Act required that immigrants (1) be literate, (2) pay a tax, and (3) it also gave immigration officials the discretionary power to reject a foreign nationals at official points of entry.

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The US is currently in the era of quantitative restrictions that began in 1921(Goldin, p.223). Immigration law and policy want to limit the number of legal immigrants in the country. Law and policy also want to prevent entry into the US of foreigners who are deemed to be a threat to the public interest. For example, the Emergency Quota Act in 1921 placed a specific limit of 150,000 people (including wives and children) who could come in annually from one foreign country as legal immigrants. A few days before 9/11, President George W. Bush and President Vincente Fox of Mexico had been engaging in high-level meetings to discuss immigration (Rosenbaum, “Immigration Policy since 9/11”). It was expected that they would announce a new immigration framework for the southern border that had an immigration reform plan, increase border security, a temporary worker program, and the legalization of illegal immigrants from Mexico. However, after the 911 attacks, security became the primary concern of the quantitative immigration for American lawmakers (Rice& Zegart, p.32). Consequently, apart from more security at America’s borders, the government acquired expanded powers to detain and deport illegal immigrants.

DACA is a 2012 immigration policy by the Obama administration. It directs that adults who had been children when they were brought into the country illegally can get (1) deferred action from deportation that may be renewed every two years; and (2) access to a work permit. It only required DACA beneficiaries to have no criminal record (New York Times, “What is DACA?”). It is not a direct path to citizenship. The TPS program was created by the 1990 Immigration Act (Chishti, & Yale-Loehr, "The Immigration Act of 1990”). It allows foreigners from specific nations to temporarily live and work in the US because armed conflict and natural disasters prevent them from returning to their country of origin. It is not a direct path to citizenship.

The classic definition of the crime of human trafficking is the illegal trade of women and children into prostitution across international borders(ASPE, “Human Trafficking Into and Within the United States”). The contemporary understanding of human trafficking is that it involves the use of fraud, force, or coercion to sexually exploit another person (TEDx Columbus 2011 “Theresa Flores - Find a Voice with Soap”). Furthermore, there does not need to commit a crime across international borders. The modern conception of the crime, therefore, has the ingredients of recruiting, transporting, transferring, or receiving people using actual force, abduction, fraud, or other forms of coercion, to derive some kind of material benefit from exploiting the control one person has over their victim(TEDx Columbus 2011 “Theresa Flores - Find a Voice with Soap”). Hence the modern conception of human trafficking encompasses forcing victims into prostitution, and labor practices similar to slavery.

The Trump administration has indicated that it intends to strongly enforce existing immigration law through deportations of illegal aliens who have no legal right to be in the US (Sotnick, pp.1-5). The Trump administration is well within its rights to abolish the DACA program (Sotnick, pp.5-6). The general rule gleaned from Supreme Court precedents is that a new administration can change the policies of a previous administration. The exception to this rule is that a new President can’t change a policy of a previous administration if doing so amounts to an arbitrary or capricious exercise of executive power. DACA is not a federal statute that creates legal obligations on the Trump administration. Hence enforcing existing immigration law by deporting all illegal aliens doesn't fall within the definition of an arbitrary or capricious act. The second argument against DACA is that the 10-year residency rule for naturalization does not contemplate an illegal alien using it to acquire American citizenship.

An argument can be made that DACA beneficiaries should not be deported because they did not make a rational choice to break immigration law. The Supreme Court has interpreted the 8th Amendment as the basis of not punishing minors with the same severity as adults. If children do not have the mental capacity to kill or commit serious crimes, they do not have the mental capacity to break immigration law. Consequently, they are entitled not to be deported. Instead, they should be given the path to citizenship under the 10-year rule. The second reason that DACA beneficiaries should be allowed to stay is if they are parents of American born children. It would not be in the best interests of their kids to deport them back to their countries of origin.

The Trump administration is also well within its rights to terminate TPS for Nicaraguans, Salvadorians, and Haitians (or any other nationality for that matter) at any time. That is what the 1990 Immigration Act says. The second reason for why the TPS status for any nationality can be ended at any time and its beneficiaries deported is the recent a circuit court decision that acknowledged that immigration laws expressly describes how a foreigner can get on the path to citizenship. Hence, the daughter of a Yemeni diplomat born in Connecticut who later left to go give a fight for ISIS did not have a legitimate right of return since existing laws say that the children of foreign embassy staff born in the US do not acquire automatic American citizenship. The second argument against TPS is that it allows people to jump the queue to enter and work in the US without getting thorough vetting like Green Card applicants from places like Pakistan.

However, an argument can be made that TPS beneficiaries who have been law-abiding and living in the US for over 10 years should be allowed to access the path to citizenship. After all, unlike illegal aliens, they have a statutory right to work and live in the US. They can, therefore, pay taxes and run legitimate businesses. Deporting them would therefore not make sense. Secondly, because TPS gives them the legal right to be in America, the children of TPS beneficiaries are automatically American citizens by birth. It would not be in the best interests of these American children to deport their parents back to their countries of origin.

Today slavery is getting exploited because you are under the complete control of someone else. A common type of slavery is teenage prostitution. It happens when children are forced into the world of prostitution and they can’t leave because of threats of violence. A second type is debt bondage which happens when people are forced to work to pay off a debt. It is most prevalent in Asia. Victims, out of desperation, are tricked into working for little pay with no control over the interest on their debt. Forced labor is any job people are forced to do engage in against their will, under the threat of punishment. It is most common in industries with little or no government oversight. Illegal migrants are the most victimized through forced labor because they don’t speak the language of the host nation, they do not have a social network of family or friends, they have no workers’ rights since they are illegal aliens, and they completely depend on their employers not to get deported.

Works Cited

“Human Trafficking Into and Within the United States: A Review of the Literature.” ASPE, 21 Feb. 2017,

“TEDxColumbus 2011 - Theresa Flores - Find a Voice with Soap.” Nov 18, 2011 , YouTube,

“Victims of Criminal Activity: U Nonimmigrant Status.” USCIS, 3 Sept. 2009,

Chishti, Muzaffar, and Stephen Yale-Loehr. "The Immigration Act of 1990: Unfinished Business a Quarter-Century Later." March 9, 2016,

Dickerson, Caitlin. "What is DACA?" The New York Times (2018).

Goldin, Claudia. "The political Economy of Immigration Restriction in the United States, 1890 to 1921." The regulated economy: A Historical Approach to Political Economy. University of Chicago Press, (1994)

Martin, Philip L., & Peter Duignan. Making and Remaking America: Immigration into the United States. Hoover Press, (2003)

Rice, Condoleezza, and Amy B. Zegart. Political Risk: Facing the Threat of Global Insecurity in the Twenty-first Century. Hachette Book Group, (2018).

Rosenbaum, Marc R. “U.S. Immigration Policy since 9/11: Understanding the Stalemate over Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”(2011).

Sotnick, Ryan. “Is DACA's Rescission Judicially Reviewable?” SSRN, 25 Aug. 2019,

Zolberg, Aristide. "Rethinking the last 200 years of US immigration policy." Migration Information Source, (2006).

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