There is a push to include amnesty for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients in the upcoming budget negotiations in Congress. This is a bad idea.

While I’m not unsympathetic to the plight of some of the DACA recipients, granting amnesty to this class of individuals would, among other things, ignore our larger immigration concerns of non-secure borders, visa overstays, fraud and abuse in our non-immigrant visa system, and the unconscionable neglect and indifference to those in foreign lands who have waited for years to receive their visas to come here legally.

There currently are about 690,000 active DACA recipients, according to the U.S. Center for Immigration Services. With legalization and chain migration, which allows citizens and those with legal permanent-resident status to bring in family members, amnesty would increase the immigration population by many millions over the years.

The mantra of advocates for amnesty is that DACA recipients were “brought to the U.S. as children” and know no other country (“Attorney General Mills joins lawsuit, says rollback of DACA threatens ‘justice itself,’ ” Sept. 14).

Are they “children”? According to immigration service rules for DACA eligibility, recipients must be able to prove they “came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday.” This falls within the definition of “child,” but it’s hard to make the assertion, as we have seen, that those DACA recipients who came here as teenagers have known no other country than the U.S.

Bob Casimiro

Bridgton