(National Sentinel) Unconstitutional: Shortly before the 2012 election, then-President Barack Obama assumed the authority to unilaterally change statutory immigration law by creating the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program out of thin air.
Obama announced the program on June 15, 2012, after signing an executive order creating a program that then-DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano helped craft. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting applications for the program on August 15, 2012.
In November 2014, Obama announced his intention to expand DACA to cover additional illegal aliens. Several states immediately sued to block his action but they were blocked by federal courts.
Prior to launching DACA, Obama said 22 times that he lacked the authority as president to unilaterally implement such a program because Congress — the Legislative Branch — makes law, not presidents acting as head of the Executive Branch.
“We’ve got a government designed by the Founders so that there’d be checks and balances,” Obama said in May 2008. “You don’t want a president who’s too powerful or a Congress that’s too powerful or a court that’s too powerful. Everybody’s got their own role. Congress’s job is to pass legislation. The president can veto it or he can sign it. … I believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution of the United States. We’re not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end-run around Congress.”
“Comprehensive reform, that’s how we’re going to solve this problem. … Anybody who tells you it’s going to be easy or that I can wave a magic wand and make it happen hasn’t been paying attention to how this town works,” he added in May 2010.
“I do have an obligation to make sure that I am following some of the rules. I can’t simply ignore laws that are out there. I’ve got to work to make sure that they are changed,” he said in September 2010. He noted again later the same month: “I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself. We have a system of government that requires the Congress to work with the Executive Branch to make it happen. I’m committed to making it happen, but I’ve got to have some partners to do it.”
For once, Obama was being truthful. He didn’t have the authority to create DACA on his own.
Yet he did, and shame on Congress — both parties — for letting him get away with it without impeaching him.
Acting on a campaign promise, POTUS Donald Trump ended Obama’s 2014 expansion in mid-2017 and then, by executive order, axed the entire program later in the year. After all, if one president can enact such a policy, why can’t a subsequent president rescind it — especially since it was never constitutional to begin with?
That’s a great question and eventually, the Supreme Court will have to answer it, because yet another federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to fully restart the DACA program or else.
As Politico reported Friday:
A D.C.-based federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to restart in full the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The decision is the latest legal blow against President Donald Trump’s decision to phase out the Obama-era program, which offers deportation relief to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
The restart won’t be immediate. U.S. District Judge John Bates said Friday that the order would be delayed until Aug. 23 to allow the government to appeal, but he denied a Justice Department motion to reconsider his earlier decision, saying there were still deficiencies in the administration’s rationale for rescinding DACA.
“The court has already once given DHS the opportunity to remedy these deficiencies — either by providing a coherent explanation of its legal opinion or by reissuing its decision for bona fide policy reasons that would preclude judicial review,” said Bates, “So it will not do so again.”
Bates in April became the third federal judge to order the administration to restart renewals for people previously approved for DACA.
Why is the onus on the Trump administration to justify rescinding an executive order that was never legitimate to begin with? Beyond that, why does Trump have to legally justify his policy decisions but Obama didn’t?
We expect the Trump administration will appeal this all the way to SCOTUS. But the difficulty in the White House being able to successfully end a clearly unconstitutional executive order issued by a prior administration proves once again why it’s vital for the GOP to keep and expand control in the Senate — so POTUS Trump can continue to appoint constitutionalists to the federal bench as well as the highest court in the land.