Washington should reconsider DACA plans
Here’s a twisted scenario.
In September, President Donald Trump announced the coming suspension of an Obama-era program of immigration relief for people who came to America at a young age: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. He charged Congress to replace it by this coming spring, and he gave DACA recipients, whose protections were soon expiring, an Oct. 5 deadline to reapply.
The compassionate program was available only to young people who were in school, had graduated from high school or received a GED, or were honorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces or Coast Guard. Anyone with a serious criminal history was barred.
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Thousands of recipients scrambled to reapply and secure their insecure spots in the country they call home.
Many DACA enrollees worked with lawyers and sent their applications long before the deadline. But for some applicants, the mail didn’t get to the appropriate U.S. Customs and Immigration Services office in time.
Lawyers affiliated with the Immigrant Advocates Response Collaborative say certified mail tracking records show that some applications sat in a U.S. Postal Service distribution center in Chicago for up to 20 days.
The group began sounding the alarm recently after receiving rejections. They now know of more than 30 mail delivery delays.
Due to a bureaucratic postal error, the applicants’ immigration statuses are in jeopardy. Coldly, immigration services has said too late, too bad. This is wrong. Reconsider.
The mail mix-up shows just how precarious life is for these immigrants. Despite callously throwing the DACA program into a tailspin, Trump still professes to have some concern for its recipients. But he has kicked the issue to Congress, where it’s now a bargaining chip in a host of other legislation.
These students, veterans and civilians were promised protection here and they are now seeing that promise broken. Congress must quickly find a compromise to replace DACA – a way to begin to fix our broken immigration system.
Release Sandy Hook reports to public
It’s been nearly five years since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., but the state police still haven’t released a report evaluating their response on that day.
With mass shootings showing no sign of slowing down in this nation, any insights into the best policies for police response would be welcome, especially insights gained by those who investigated one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.
To wit: Within 10 months of the shooting at a San Bernardino, Calif., office that killed 14 people, officials released a 162-page report analyzing the police response. About 18 months after the Boston Marathon bombing, a similar 130-page “after-action report” was made public.
The after-action report could be of particular value to rural and suburban police agencies that don’t have the resources or training that major metropolitan forces might have.
A forthright and critical self-analysis should provide perspective on issues that, sadly, could present themselves to another small town.
Should the officers who first arrived at Sandy Hook have stormed the school? What are the potential risks and benefits of that tactic? Did police properly clear the school before proceeding with their investigation? Was access properly controlled immediately after the shooting?
The answers might never be clear, but any guidance, any wisdom that could be gleaned from lessons learned at Sandy Hook will be invaluable.
The Connecticut Department of Public Safety must re-examine its priorities, complete the report and release it to the public.
News of another mass shooting came from rural Northern California on Tuesday afternoon, where a gunman randomly shot people at an elementary school and other locations before being shot by police.
It drives home the importance of learning from these incidents. Police must be armed with experience.
The Hartford Courant