After much speculation about the Obama program, DACA……Trump has made up his mind and allowed the much maligned Sessions delver the news to the country.
Bad news for “dreamers.” The White House is indeed phasing out a program that has protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought into the country illegally as kids, reports the AP. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the anticipated move Tuesday morning, per Reuters. Sessions called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program unconstitutional and said the federal government will no longer accept applications for DACA. However, the nation’s approximately 800,000 “dreamers” won’t be immediately affected as the program is wound down through March, and President Trump urged Congress to come up with a legislative alternative, reports the New York Times.
“Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!” the president tweeted Tuesday morning. Sessions called the Obama program an “open-ended circumvention of immigration law through unconstitutional authority by the executive branch” and said it likely would have been rejected in the courts, reports the Washington Post. Trump had similarly denounced the program as “illegal” during the 2016 campaign, though he softened his language upon becoming president. Dreamers who currently hold permits can continue working in the US until their permits expire. Those whose permits expire by March 5, 2018—when the program was originally scheduled to end—can apply for a two-year renewal provided they do so by Oct. 5.
But as usual the Trump Twitter account got a work out about this issue…..with the language showing a bit of soothing rhetoric after the initial bombshell…..
The fate of young immigrants in the US was thrust into limbo Tuesday when the White House announced it was phasing out the Obama-era DACA program, more formally known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. President Trump gave Congress six months to come up with a legislative alternative before the program ends in March, and he promised that the issue would be resolved “with heart and compassion—but through the lawful Democratic process,” per NBC News. The White House maintains that President Obama’s executive action was unconstitutional and that Congress, not the president, must decide such things. (Obama himself made a rare public statement criticizing the move.) Related coverage:
- A ‘wall’ trade? One idea being floated is a deal in which Republicans agree to legislation protecting “Dreamers” if Democrats agree to funding for a border wall, reports Newsweek. At Salon, Heather Digby Parton thinks Democrats should take any such deal offered. She opposes the wall, but “putting 800,000 Dreamer kids’ minds at rest will be worth it.”
- Bannon test: This will be the biggest test yet of the power of Steve Bannon since leaving the White House, observes Politico. Bannon and other conservative advisers (including Stephen Miller and Jeff Sessions) pushed the president to end DACA, and Bannon could go after more moderate GOP voices on immigration, including Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan.
- Ryan, Rubio: In a statement, House speaker Ryan said he agreed that Obama overstepped with DACA and that was it never a “viable long-term solution.” But he also said he hoped Congress could put legislation in place “ensuring that those who have done nothing wrong” can stay in the US. Marco Rubio, meanwhile, said Trump needed to give lawmakers a clear sense of what he’d be willing to sign, per the Miami Herald.
- Harvey hero: One recipient of DACA’s protection was 31-year-old Alonso Guillen, who died trying to rescue people from Hurricane Harvey. The Houston Chronicle has more on his life story, and the New York Times notes that Trump chief of staff John Kelly has been moved by stories of Dreamers helping out in the wake of Harvey.
- Silicon Valley: Microsoft said it was “disappointed” in the White House decision, but said Congress must now rearrange its priorities over the next six months to protect Dreamers. The company employs 39 of them, and other tech companies are similarly worried.
- Not so complicated: At the National Review, Andrew McCarthy writes that Trump made the issue “more complicated than it needs to be.” McCarthy makes the case that Obama’s action was illegal and asserts that Trump’s path is the correct one: “Follow the Constitution” and let Congress hammer out a compromise.
- Badly handled? At BuzzFeed, Ben Smith argues that Trump misplayed the issue, gave away his political leverage, and ended up with the worst possible outcome: “He’s shooting the hostages.”
- Full text: Here is the full text of Sessions’ explanation of the decision. “The compassionate thing is to end the lawlessness,” he says.
Is this piece of crap just a ploy to get his money for a wall? Using almost a million people as a blackmail scheme….cannot get much tackier than that….but I am positive he will try.
He, Trump, in a Tweet is giving the Congress 6 months to do a comprehensive immigration reform…..seriously? Does he not know how flipping absurd that is?
And all this concern by the GOPers in Congress is just amazing….glad to see they have a conscience…..but if they had this much compassion why was an Obama EO necessary to some action?
Funny how much compassion can be mustered up with an election looming.
This is all just a game to Trump….to pretend it is anything else is just moronic.