The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — one of Barack Obama’s signature executive orders protecting illegal immigrants in the United States — will be repealed by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, sources told Fox News.
However, there’s a catch to the president’s action: he’s going to leave the program in place for six months so that Congress can find a solution.
The program, which was signed by President Obama back in July of 2012, allowed individuals — colloquially known as “Dreamers” — who were in this country illegally but who had been brought here as children to remain in the country via a renewable two-year deportation deferral. Individuals covered under the program could also obtain a work permit.
The president had mixed feelings on DACA, which he publicly aired. In February, the Los Angeles Times reported that the administration had already drafted an executive order repealing Obama’s initiative. However, in a press conference that same month, Trump indicated he had issues with repealing the order
“DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me,” President Trump said, promising to handle the issue “with heart.… It’s one of the most difficult subjects I have because you have these incredible kids.”
According to Politico, the president eventually decided with repealing the order after consulting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In their conversations, Sessions convinced the president that it was Congress’ job to set immigration policy, not the executive branch’s.
While White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is quoted as saying that he “thinks Congress should’ve gotten its act together a lot longer ago” on DACA, they now have a six-month window to do something about it.
This is going to infuriate a lot of members of the left. The modus operandi of the Democrat Party is to stonewall the Trump administration at every turn, refusing to work with either the White House or congressional Republicans. Now, the president is insisting that immigration policy be set through Congress — as it should have been since the beginning.
So, there’s the Hobson’s choice: either work with Republicans on a more modest version of DACA, or have the Republicans do it on their own. Should it be the latter, they run the risk of DACA being repealed entirely and putting the 800,000 individuals protected by it at risk for deportation.
Of course, were this passed by Congress in the first place — instead of via the pen and phone of our former president — we wouldn’t be talking about this. Alas, this is what happens when presidents enact things by fiat: they tend to discover that what can be done by their caprice can just as easily be undone by their successor.
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