The Trump administration on Tuesday announced the “orderly wind down” of the Obama-era program that gave a deportation reprieve to illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children – putting pressure on Congress to come up with a legislative alternative.
The Department of Homeland Security formally rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, with a six-month delay for current recipients. According to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, the interval is meant to give Congress “time to deliver on appropriate legislative solutions.”
“However, I want to be clear that no new initial requests or associated applications filed after today will be acted on,” Duke said in a written statement.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, speaking to reporters, blasted the Obama administration's "disrespect for the legislative process" in enacting the 2012 policy. He said the “unilateral executive amnesty” probably would have been blocked by the courts anyway.
“The executive branch, through DACA, deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions,” Sessions said, blaming the policy for the recent “surge” at the border. “Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch.”
A day earlier, Sessions sent Duke a letter with his legal determination that the 2012 executive action was unconstitutional.
The Trump administration was facing a Tuesday deadline to make a decision on DACA or face legal action by Republican state AGs who hoped to force the president’s hand in discontinuing the program.
Administration officials cast their approach Tuesday at the least disruptive option.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump had promised to terminate DACA, though he appeared to soften his stance since taking office. In ending the program with a six-month delay, Trump put the onus on Congress to pass a legislative fix.
According to DHS, no current beneficiaries will be impacted before March 5, 2018.
“Congress, get ready to do your job - DACA!” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.
In this Aug. 15, 2017, file photo, a woman holds up a signs in support of the Obama administration program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, during an immigration reform rally at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
While some Republicans support the goals of the DACA program, many opposed the use of executive action to institute it, describing the move as a presidential overreach.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is among those who now supports the call to protect so-called “Dreamers” with legislation.
“I have always believed DACA was a presidential overreach,” he said in a statement. "However, I equally understand the plight of the Dream Act kids who -- for all practical purposes know no country other than America. If President Trump makes this decision we will work to find a legislative solution to their dilemma.”
On a conference call, administration officials said Tuesday they are still prioritizing criminal aliens for deportation. But they described the original DACA criteria as very broad and cited the legal determination of the Justice Department.
During the presidential campaign, Trump referred to DACA as “illegal amnesty.” However, he seemed to edge away from that stance in April when he told the Associated Press that DACA recipients could “rest easy.”
The DACA program was formed through executive action by former President Barack Obama in 2012, allowing recipients to get a deportation reprieve – and work permits – for a two-year period subject to renewal. Under the program, individuals were able to request DACA status if they were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, came to the U.S. before turning 16 and have continuously lived in the country since June 15, 2007. Individuals must also have a high school diploma, GED certification, been honorably discharged from the military or still be in school. Recipients cannot have a criminal record.
Congress had been considering legislation to shield young illegal immigrants from deportation for years, dating back to the George W. Bush administration. Lawmakers tried again to pass a bill during the Obama administration, but couldn’t muster the votes amid flagging Republican support before Obama formed the program in 2012.
Nearly 800,000 undocumented youth are currently under the program's umbrella.
On Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said he supported a legislative solution to protect undocumented minors, but also urged the president to reconsider scrapping DACA.
"I actually don't think he should do that and I believe that this is something that Congress has to fix," Ryan said on radio station WCLO.
Blaming Trump-How Obama Administration Bypassed Congress to Grant Defacto Amnesty
Arguments For DACA Put Americans Last
Posted By Scott Greer On 4:30 PM 09/04/2017
President Trump is reportedly set to scrap Barack Obama’s amnesty that offered work permits to illegal aliens brought to the U.S. as minors.
As The Washington Post’s alleged “conservative” columnist Jennifer Rubin summarized for the elite consensus on the move, it’s “Trump’s most evil act.”
Working under the false impression that those who earned protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are all under 18, a plethora of pundits convinced themselves this would amount to mass deportation of children.
That’s not true at all. For one thing, a person has to be at least 15 years old to receive DACA. Government data shows that the majority of illegal immigrants receiving the deferments are 20 years or older.
These aren’t kids who now face the risk of deportation. DACA is a work permit program that offers non-citizens who came here illegally to take jobs that would otherwise likely go to Americans citizens, a fact that is getting lost in the outrage.
But a few interesting responses to the DACA scrapping have acknowledged that Dreamers are taking jobs from Americans — and that’s a good thing, apparently.
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox sent out two tweets last week on the matter. The first claimed, “.@realDonaldTrump, you’re killing the real American dream! DACA is fundamental for a successful America, what’s the point of ending it?”
The next tweet was more threatening. “.@realDonaldTrump Minorities will soon be the majority, and remember: we’re stronger together. Get it? You can’t trump the dream,” Fox said.
The two tweets offer two different arguments for keeping DACA. The first is that our economy depends on non-citizen laborers who came here illegally, and to remove their protection would destroy America’s prosperity.
It’s an odd argument for a foreign political leader to make, especially one whose country would be taking in the most Dreamers if they left the U.S. Shouldn’t Fox be excited that Mexico will get all this great talent that the American economy depends on to survive?
The truth is that Fox’s nation looks to its citizens working in America to send back remittance payments to boost the Mexican economy. His argument, looked at closely, is all about promoting the interests of the Mexican economy, not ours.
He doesn’t care that Dreamers take jobs away from American citizens. Citizens aren’t a big source for remittance payments like illegal immigrants are.
DACA is important to Mexico becuase it is a foot in the door for legalizing more of their citizens, who will then be able to send more money back to the home country without fear of deportation.
Fox’s second statement argues that ending DACA will alienate minority constituencies that will eventually be the majority of the country. In the future, these aggrieved groups will try to get payback on Trump voters for this terrible offense.
This vision doesn’t sound like a diverse America will be a very tolerant and loving place. But Fox’s tweet is only a blunter expression of the rhetoric deployed against Republicans who resist embracing amnesty.
Democrats, always genuinely concerned for the electoral fortunes of the GOP, have repeated ad nauseam that Republicans will never win elections unless they let in more immigrants who show no sign of any interest in GOP policies. But surely some will vote red when they get legalized, so the flawed argument goes.
Fox’s real argument is that these Dreamers are future Democratic voters and you better not make them angry. It’s a stance worth assessing for all the Republicans who think ending DACA is bad. Helping them become citizens ensures the GOP slides into electoral oblivion, according to Fox’s logic.
Both of the former Mexican president’s tweets don’t really help the cause of the Dreamers if examined with a skeptical eye. However, the argument that America’s economy somehow depends on illegal immigrants receiving protection from deportation is shared by corporate powerhouses.
Several corporate executives, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, signed a letter last week demanding Trump keep DACA. “Dreamers are vital to the future of our companies and our economy,” the letter declared. “With them, we grow and create jobs. They are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage.”
The unintended message of the letter is that corporations prefer foreign labor over that of citizen workers. For companies with a depressing record of standing up for the First Amendment rights of Americans, it seems rather fitting that these corporations would go to the mat for the rights of illegal immigrants to continue working for them at lower wages.
Corporate America desires for an unrestricted influx of immigrants — whether it is legal or illegal — in order to get cheap labor. They claim it is vital for “our economy” because it means they don’t have to meet the wage demands of American citizens. More profits for them, fewer jobs for Americans.
The commitment to DACA by corporations is just another reaffirmation of their dedication to woke consumerism, and this one position directly benefits their bottom line. By stressing this issue so much, corporations are in effect saying that they do not care about the interests of Americans citizens.
Their demand for cheap foreign labor is more important.
The outrage over DACA has only started, and in the coming days we are guaranteed to be inundated with claims Trump is going to tear eight year olds from their mothers’ arm and the economy is about to collapse without Dreamers.
In the upcoming cacophony of cries and shrieks, it’s worth looking at the real motivations for keeping DACA. For failed Mexican presidents and corporations, the concern for Dreamers isn’t so noble.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the rumored end of Obama’s DACA amnesty program official Tuesday.
Addressing reporters at the Department of Justice, Sessions, who made resistance to amnesty a focal point of his decades long political career, took the lead in announcing the fulfillment of one of President Donald Trump’s major campaign promises. A DOJ spokeswoman, however, made clear it was the president who had made the final decision.
“I’m here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated by the Obama administration is being rescinded,” Sessions said. Later calling for an “orderly and lawful wind-down.”
Sessions quoted George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in support of his legal assessment of the DACA program:
In ordering this blanket exception, President Obama was nullifying part of a law that he simply disagreed with … If a president can claim sweeping discretion to suspend key federal laws, the entire legislative process becomes little more than a pretense … The circumvention of the legislative process not only undermines the authority of this branch but destabilizes the tripartite system as a whole.
Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will be rescinded by a memorandum from Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke, effective immediately. No current beneficiaries will lose their protected status for six months, but no new applications for DACA status will be taken after Tuesday. Those already under DACA who have already applied for their two-year renewals will have those requests processed. Those whose status expires in the sixth month grace period will still be able to apply for their two-year renewals until October 5, 2017. A senior DHS official made clear that those illegals whose DACA protection is pending and who leave the country at any time will lose any possibility of receiving that protection.
DACA offered effective immunity from the law for illegal aliens who arrived under age 17 before 2007. Over 800,000 illegals are currently being shielded from deportation and given work authorization under the program. The average age of these illegals is 25. As Sessions put it:
This unilateral executive amnesty, among other things, contributed to a surge of minors at the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences and it denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, Sessions had sent a letter to that agency on Monday stating that DACA:
[W]as effectuated by the previous administration through executive action, without proper statutory authority and with no established end-date, after Congress’ repeated rejection of proposed legislation that would have accomplished a similar result. Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch.
In that letter, Sessions also offered a dire assessment of DACA’s ability to stand up to the constitutional challenge threatened by ten state attorneys general. A lawsuit by those states had already overturned the companion Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. DACA, Sessions wrote, “has the same legal and constitutional defects that the courts recognized as to DAPA, it is likely that potentially imminent litigation would yield similar results with respect to DACA.”
In his remarks, Sessions gave his assessment of the Trump administration’s progress on illegal migration so far, saying:
This administration has made great progress in the last few months toward establishing a lawful and constitutional immigration system. This makes us safer and more secure. It will further economically the lives of millions who are struggling and it will enable our country to more effectively teach new immigrants about our system of government and to assimilate them to the cultural understandings that support it. The progress in reducing illegal immigration at our border seen in recent months is almost entirely due to the leadership of President Trump and his inspired immigration officers. But the problem is not yet solved. And without more action, we could see illegality rise again rather than be eliminated.
DHS officials, meanwhile, noted that Congress will now have six months to “deliver on appropriate legislative solutions” regarding so-called “dreamers.”
Echoing that, Trump called on Congress Tuesday morning to “get ready to do your job.”
Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2017
Within the administration, Sessions was reported to have pushed the president to end DACA, while Jared Kushner and wife Ivanka Trump allegedly tried to preserve the order.
Extending DACA protections for the so called 'Dreamers' to May 5th is an illegal executive action... The President is charged with the enforcement of the law... including the Immigration laws of the United States...as currently written.
The President has a Constitutional Duty and Responsibility to faithfully execute the laws of the land. One doesn't faithfully execute the law by ignoring it or by openly permitting large numbers of individuals to violate the law thru executive fiat. Trump is not helping the situation by providing an extension to DACA protections. If Congress wants to change the law let them do so ...
However, until the law is changed, the President has the duty to enforce the law as written... not to ignore it.
The thing to do in such circumstances is put forth a meaningful quid pro quo compromise, such as the one being discussed presently by Liz Peek in her article entitled, "Trump, GOP should keep DACA but scrap birthright citizenship"
Thanks for posting this David. BC should definitely be scrapped asap. I think US and Canada are the only 2 developed countries that still allow it.
Dem Dianne Feinstein admits DACA was ‘on shaky legal ground,’ Trump was right and here’s why…
Most conservatives considered former-President Obama’s unilateral decision to allow the children of illegal immigrants to legally live and work in the United States to be a violation of separation of powers and U.S. law.
But when even uber-liberal Senator Dianne Feinstein admits that DACA is on “shaky legal ground,” that’s a whole other level of confirmation, if unintended, of President Trump’s decision to end the program.
If Obama acted unconstitutionally in effectuating DACA, then why is it necessary for Congress to end it constitutionally?
Trump, as president, could just say, " This crap stops NOW." No exceptions, no runs, no drips, no mess and no mas. And by the way Fox, shove it up your blowhole. Mind your own stupid business or we will be forced to mind it for your inept contemptible ass.
True. Illegal laws are nothing more than pretended legislation.
'Say it ain't so', and it really isn't. Just say NO.
Obama the big mouth seems to have much to say about the Ex Order over-reach and criminal action he created by creating DACA. LAW IS NOT WRITTEN IN THE WHITE HOUSE.
HEY OBAMA...YOU IDIOT---- IT WAS SLATED TO GO TO COURT AND BECAUSE ITS NOT LAW IT WOULD HAVE BEEN OVERTURNED.
GOOD THING TRUMP DID IT THE WAY HE DID.
WE ARE AT THIS POINT IN AMERICA BECAUSE OF OBAMA AND HIS LAW BREAKING OVER-REACH. OBAMA THE CRIMINAL BROKE FEDERAL LAW WITH DACA!
Offer them a green card ONLY! No citizenship - No voter rights.