WASHINGTON, September 22, 2017 — California has become the poster child for DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Those who are MAGA (Make America Great Again) supporters are fighting back, demanding that the Trump administration stand for law and order.
There is a lot of confusion about DACA. DACA was never a law, nor even an Obama executive order. It was just a policy established by the Obama administration in June 2012. It circumvented Congress to declare the right of the executive branch to exercise discretion in enforcing the law.
The Obama administration essentially said, “we won’t enforce the law.”
They did this by instructing the Justice Department to bend the law via prosecutorial discretion. That is, federal prosecutors could decide whether to bring charges against so-called “Dreamers.” More precisely, they were told they would decide not to bring charges against anyone who met administration standards for being a Dreamer.
The result was to open the flood doors of illegal immigration to America.
DACA allowed people who entered the United States illegally as minors to receive a renewable, two-year deferment from deportation and made them eligible for work permits in 2017.
There are now approximately 800,000 Dreamers in the U.S. under the criteria set by the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act), which never became law. The idea behind DACA is that it would first grant conditional residency, then, if Dreamers meet further qualifications, permanent residency.
The Trump administration had every right to rescind DACA. By so doing, President Trump restored the primacy of the rule of law to issues regarding immigration. He stated:
“I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: To improve jobs and wages for Americans; to strengthen our nation’s security, and to restore respect for our laws.”
The Trump administration has decided to DACA, and has begun to do so responsibly. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security explaining that DACA was not statutorily authorized and was, therefore, an unconstitutional exercise of discretion by the executive branch.
Sessions found that DACA, given pending litigation, would likely face the same outcome as the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, which was enjoined by the courts.
The Trump administration is taking responsible action to wind down DACA in an orderly and minimally disruptive manner. If Trump allowed DACA to go to court, it is likely that the court would abruptly enjoin the program. If Trump had refused to act, many States were prepared to pursue litigation to end DACA by court order.
Under Trump’s changes, current DACA recipients generally will not be impacted until after March 5, 2018, six months from now. That period gives Congress the opportunity to consider appropriate legislative solutions. We want to avoid what we see in California: illegal immigrants from Central America crossing from Mexico, brings about a new America civil war between supporters of DACA and supporters of MAGA.
Americans-against-Americans: One group supported by the constitution standing for domestic tranquility and the other group standing behind the DREAM Act. Murrieta, California is a harbinger of things to come. At the Border Patrol station, on July 4, 2014, protestors “debated” illegal immigration; on one-side, supporters welcomed newcomers to America. On the other side, people told them that Americans can not afford to have more people in urban communities.