I read with much distress two recent columns by Joe Guzzardi, specifically those dated June 20 and June 28. As many long-time Lodi News-Sentinel readers know, Guzzardi, according to his bio, has been a columnist since 1987 and has written on immigrant and immigration issues, both for the Lodi News-Sentinel and for publications across the nation, mostly expressing his negative views on both.
In this letter I will tackle several of the inaccuracies stated by Guzzardi in the June 20 column, “Obama’s policies are luring children across the border.”
His first point that the 2012 executive order, known as DACA, called for “deferred” deportation for children who had been bought to the U.S. illegally by parents. Guzzardi claims that it “has granted legal status and work authorization to more than 500,000 illegal immigrants.”
A simple check on the Homeland Security website tells the truth — there are five stringent requirements that these individuals must meet to qualify, the most important of which is that children must have already been present in the U.S. between June 2007 and June 2012 and have had five years of continuous presence prior to the order. This requirement alone precludes all of the current arrivals. Also, 500,000 individuals were established to qualify for DACA — they were not given any type of automatic “legal status” unless they applied for the program.
Guzzardi then goes on to compare the current influx of children from Central America to the Mariel boat lift. While he implies that Jimmy Carter was responsible for this disastrous project, it was actually coordinated by several Cuban-American groups. It was an illustration of the complete power of the highly-regarded Cuban-American community which, for the past 55 years, has prevented the U.S. from establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba and continuing the embargo that contributes to the poverty of the Cuban people.
Since I am limited to 350 words, I will continue to refute Joe Guzzardi’s inaccuracies in a series of letters.