If Obama could start DACA, Trump can end it

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President Barack Obama created it. President Trump killed it. The courts keep reviving it.

That would be Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program to shield from deportation young undocumented immigrants brought illegally into the U.S. as minors.

DACA came about because Obama was frustrated he could not get the DREAM Act through the Senate. He was facing increasing pressure from activists and backers to abandon his efforts to build support for immigration legislation through enforcement and instead bypass Congress to provide relief to a sympathetic subset of illegal immigrants.

Memos that circulated through the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services floated ways prosecutorial discretion and parole in place could be used to keep people from being deported in the absence of congressional action. Obama was initially skeptical of these executive solutions, but by 2012 — facing a potentially thorny re-election bid — he was ready to act.

The problem is that setting up an official program modeled to some extent after a law Congress rather pointedly failed to pass and then issuing work permits to its beneficiaries goes beyond merely setting enforcement priorities. It usurps the powers of the legislative branch of the federal government.

Trump argued during the 2016 campaign that DACA was an “unconstitutional executive amnesty,” but he vacillated somewhat on whether he supported the substance of the policy keeping Dreamers from being deported. So when he announced he was rescinding DACA in September, he punted the issue to Congress by phasing the program out over six months — essentially giving lawmakers until March 5 to enact something to replace it. – READ MORE

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