Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced plans to phase out DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA was a policy enacted under former President Obama as a benefit program for children who entered this country illegally and without documentation. In short, DACA is yet another example of the Obama Administration's repeated Executive overreach and interfering with the government's separation of powers.
This policy was implemented unilaterally to great controversy and legal concern after Congress rejected legislative proposals to extend similar benefits on numerous occasions to this same group of illegal aliens. In other words, the executive branch, through DACA, deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions. Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch. . . .
We inherited from our Founders—and have advanced—an unsurpassed legal heritage, which is the foundation of our freedom, safety, and prosperity. As the Attorney General, it is my duty to ensure that the laws of the United States are enforced and that the Constitutional order is upheld. . . .
This does not mean they are bad people or that our nation disrespects or demeans them in any way. It means we are properly enforcing our laws as Congress has passed them. . . . Our collective wisdom is that the policy is vulnerable to thesame legal and constitutional challenges that the courts recognized with respect to the DAPA program, which was enjoined on a nationwide basis in a decision affirmed by the Fifth Circuit. The Fifth Circuit specifically concluded that DACA had not been implemented in a fashion that allowed sufficient discretion, and that DAPA was “foreclosed by Congress’s careful plan.”. . .
Congress should carefully and thoughtfully pursue the types of reforms that are right for the American people. Our nation is comprised of good and decent people who want their government’s leaders to fulfill their promises and advance an immigration policy that serves the national interest. We are a people of compassion and we are a people of law. But there is nothing compassionate about the failure to enforce immigration laws. . . . The compassionate thing is to end the lawlessness, enforce our laws, and, if Congress chooses to make changes to those laws, to do so through the process set forth by our Founders in a way that advances the interest of the nation. . . .Generally, it is the role of Congress as the Legislative Branch to create the rules; the duty of the President and the administration, as the Executive Branch, is to enforce the laws and create regulations--not in contradiction of the will of the Legislative Branch. This last part is where Obama's DACA fails, and President Trump and Attorney General Sessions should be applauded for respecting the rule of law and returning this important policy decision to Congress.