Unconstitutional DACA Must Go

DACA

Numerous reports indicate that President Donald J. Trump is rescinding the program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

DACA was unconstitutionally created by the Obama administration. The program violates Separation of Powers, undermines the sovereignty of the United States, and represents the worst of policy decisions. In short, DACA needs to be completely eliminated.

After the press initially raised the notion that the Trump administration may jettison DACA, the left immediately referred to the potential action as bigoted and mean. Attorneys general from the states of New York and Washington also let it be known that lawsuits would be filed against the White House.

Recently, partisan attorneys general from both states issued statements that contained threats of such imminent legal action and condemned the expected rescission action. The very same attorneys general filed similar suits in the past over the temporary travel moratorium President Trump had issued earlier in the year. Other states controlled by the Democratic Party are expected to file additional lawsuits challenging the docking of DACA.

New York A.G. Eric Schneiderman issued a statement that labeled the dissolution of DACA as “an assault on the values that built this state and this nation.” The irony of Schneiderman’s use of the word “assault” is underscored by the astounding disregard for constitutional principles that the Obama administration displayed.

With the stroke of his pen in 2012, President Obama signed DACA into law. Without legal authority to do so, Obama bestowed work permit eligibility, granted access to Social Security and various government benefits, and facilitated the evasion of deportation by individuals who were in the country illegally. The former president did so ostensibly to address the needs of those who illegally entered the U.S. as minors.

Instead of enforcing existing immigration law, Obama, through the action of creating DACA, essentially took away the incentive for people to seek legal entry into the country. The preceding administration breached its obligation to enforce the laws on hand, and in so doing encouraged a new wave of massive illegal immigration.

DACA basically rewards law breakers by granting them benefits that are specifically and exclusively designated for those who are in the U.S. legally. Three Democrats and a majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to defund DACA in June 2013.

“The point here is…the President does not have the authority to waive immigration law, nor does he have the authority to create it out of thin air…,” Steve King, lead author of the legislative amendment, said.

In November 2014 Obama once again ignored the Constitution and overstepped his authority by signing a similar executive action, which expanded DACA in some unusual ways. Again with a mere signature, the former president decreed into existence the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), which granted certain illegal immigrants a quasi-legal status termed “deferred action status” along with a three-year renewable work permit and exemption from deportation.

Several states filed lawsuits over DAPA claiming that the action was unconstitutional. A temporary injunction was issued by a federal judge in February of 2015, which essentially blocked the program from going into effect.

The judge’s decision was upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. At the time the appellate court chastised Obama for failing to enforce existing law, stating that Obama’s decree “does not transform presence deemed unlawful by Congress into lawful presence and confer eligibility for otherwise unavailable benefits based on that change.”

In other words, Obama had no legal or constitutional authority to provide government benefits that were disallowed by legislation, which had been duly passed by Congress.

Obama’s overreach undermined the important principle of Separation of Powers by encroaching on the exclusive power of Congress to legislate immigration matters.

Just like DAPA, DACA is blatantly unconstitutional. Congressional members are elected to debate and to engage in lawmaking that will offer fair and meaningful solutions with regard to the issue of immigration.

By getting rid of DACA, President Trump is simply correcting a blatantly illegal and destructive policy framework that should never have been on the books in the first place.