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Youth

Someday, many years from now, historians will use the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as a case study in the monumental dysfunction of American democracy in the early 21st century. But there is no guarantee that the issue will be consigned to the history books by then. Many of the "dreamers" could pass on to the next world before our political institutions have settled their fate in this world.

DACA was initiated in 2012 by President Barack Obama after he gave up on persuading Congress to pass legislation that both Democrats and many Republicans — including President George W. Bush — thought was wise and necessary. The program allowed foreigners brought here illegally as children to remain in the United States and eventually gain citizenship if they met certain criteria.

Broad public support for legislation was not enough to overcome irresponsible fearmongering and partisan gridlock. The blameless became the victims of the feckless.

Obama resorted to executive authority to grant a reprieve to hundreds of thousands of young people who were American in everything but citizenship documents — having grown up here, attended school here and even served in the U.S. military. But DACA was quickly mired in litigation that cast the intended beneficiaries into a perpetual purgatory.

Last week, a federal judge in Texas struck it down as a violation of federal administrative law. "The executive branch cannot just enact its own legislative policy when it disagrees with Congress's choice to reject proposed legislation," wrote Judge Andrew Hanen. At the same time, he specified that his decision does not "require DHS or the Department of Justice to take any immigration, deportation, or criminal action against any DACA recipient, applicant, or any other individual that it would not otherwise take." The "Dreamers" remain in limbo.

Americans can reasonably disagree on how to combat undocumented migration and what to do with foreigners who choose to break our laws in coming here. But the point of expelling those who didn't make that choice is beyond comprehension.

It would amount to punishing children for the sins of their parents. It would also amount to punishing grandchildren: DACA recipients have given birth to 250,000 U.S. citizens.

It would mean wasting the investment Americans have made to educate these members of our community. It would mean forfeiting their productive skills, to the detriment of the economy. It would deprive companies of workers and destroy small businesses founded by people pursuing the American dream.

But it would not deter migration. The Central Americans now waiting at our southern border didn't embark on a death-defying 1,000-mile journey because of an executive order issued nine years ago that may not survive. They did it out of a desperate desire to escape violence and poverty. Expelling every "dreamer" wouldn't keep a single migrant away.

On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recognized as much, ruling against environmentalists and ranchers who said DACA violated the law mandating an environmental impact review for some major federal actions. The unanimous panel rejected the ridiculous claim that the program entices more foreigners to sneak in.

Wrote Judge Jay Bybee: "Plaintiffs ask us to assume that aliens outside the United States who are, by definition, ineligible for DACA relief would learn about the policy; mistakenly believe it applicable to them or that they might obtain similar relief from a future administration; come to the United States based on their misconceptions; and permanently settle near Plaintiffs, thereby increasing the population and straining environmental resources. The attenuation in this chain of reasoning, unsupported by well-pleaded facts, is worthy of Rube Goldberg."

Republicans in Congress have long criticized DACA as an illegal use of executive power. But the logical response would be for them to usurp this presidential decree by passing a bill to protect the "Dreamers." Many GOP members say they can't abide such legislation until the border is "secure," which is the equivalent of not going to confession until you're sure you'll never sin again.

A Pew Research Center poll last year found that 74 percent of Americans, including 54 percent of Republicans, support legislation to grant permanent legal status to the "Dreamers." The support has been there for a long time. But the state of our democracy is such that the solution the American people want is one they may forever be denied.

Follow Steve Chapman on Twitter @SteveChapman13 or at https://www.facebook.com/stevechapman13. To find out more about Steve Chapman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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"Conservative pornstar" Brandi Love

Zachary Petrizzo

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Turning Point USA, the right-wing youth student organization led by Charlie Kirk, found itself in an unusual controversy Saturday night after "conservative pornstar" Brandi Love was allowed into a Florida conference and welcomed as an "Adult VIP," sparking backlash.

The drama began early in the night when the adult entertainer's presence in Tampa was first discovered by a follower of white nationalist Nicholas Fuentes and former Kansas State student Jaden McNeil, who wrote on Telegram, "Turning Point USA has a pornstar as a VIP at their Student Action Summit."

"Imagine sending your kids to this conference think they're gonna learn about Christian Conservative values, and they come home with photos with pornstars," he added, attaching a photo of Love snapping a picture with a TPUSA attendee.

Quickly thereafter, white nationalist "groypers" began to approach Love both in person at the event and feverishly online, hurling insults again and again at the adult star.

After a while, more mainstream conservative figures and student activists began to join in as well, calling out Turning Point USA for the alleged misstep. "A new low for TPUSA. Zero class left in that organization," Liberty University student Carley Dehnisch said. Right-wing writer Alec Sears penned, "Absolutely fucking speechless that 'conservative' org TPUSA has invited an actual porn star to a conference that minors attend." Young America's Foundation (YAF) intern Jacob Porwisz wrote, "Great job TPUSA, for inviting a porn star to their conference that features kids under 17; very conservative of them!"

Reached for comment by Salon, TPUSA spokesperson Andrew Kolvet declined to comment on the drama. Shortly thereafter, Love was banned from the gathering.

"We regret to inform you that your SAS 2021 invitation has been revoked," an email from TPUSA stated, posted to Twitter by the adult entertainer. "This decision is final. This revocation does not impact application to future events, and we hope that you will consider applying again in the future."

However, Love wasn't buying it and said the Republican Party is "broken" due to TPUSA officials giving her the boot. "Can't make this shit up lol!! I just watched Charlie Kirk, Dan Bongino, Rick Scott, Kat Timpf, speak about freedom, censorship, how inclusive the 'movement' is," she stated. "And then they had me thrown out of the Turning Point USA conference. The Republican Party is broken."

While many right-wingers cheered the ban on Love, an unlikely opposition force led by Federalist co-founder and frequent Fox News guest Ben Domenech also emerged: "I'm disappointed that TPUSA kicked out Brandi Love for no reason whatsoever. She's a Florida conservative businesswoman who loves America," he tweeted. "The right has an opportunity to be the big tent party. Don't be a bunch of prudes."

As of Sunday morning, the ban remained.

Turning Point USA is no stranger to such type of controversy, as back in December of 2020, the organization came under fire during their Student Action Conference in Palm Beach, Florida, over Bang Energy's "Bang Girls" blasting free cash into the crowd of college and high school students.

Following publication, factions on the right emerged over TPUSA's decision to ban Love. Notably, New York Post opinion editor and event speaker Sohrab Ahmari agreed with the move, tweeting, "Here at the TPUSA Student Action Summit, and I'm proud of Charlie Kirk and his team for revoking the pass of a pornstar who'd signed up as an adult attendee. There are kids as young as 15 here."