A bipartisan majority supported Obama’s DACA goal, but not necessarily his unilateral action.
Republicans have spent the past five years grumbling about how President Obama used executive power to give temporary work permits to people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Now GOP lawmakers have a chance to put up or shut up.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that the Trump administration is ending this program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, but with a six-month delay intended to give Congress time to do its job and address the issue with legislation. Mr. Trump made a campaign pledge to rescind all executive actions taken by President Obama, who often acted unilaterally when Congress wouldn’t bend to his will. But Mr. Trump’s view of DACA recipients, also known as “Dreamers,” has been more complicated.
The president believes that his calls for a border wall and his tough rhetoric on immigrant gangs and sanctuary cities helped him get elected, and perhaps it did. He also understands, though, that all illegal immigration doesn’t warrant the same response. “We love the Dreamers,” he said last week from the Oval Office. “We think the Dreamers are terrific.” At the same time, the administration has continued to insist that DACA is unlawful and can’t withstand legal challenge. In a Tuesday statement explaining why he rescinded the program, Mr. Trump said: “The legislative branch, not the executive branch, writes these laws—this is the bedrock of our constitutional system, which I took a solemn oath to preserve, protect, and defend.”
Jason L. Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and a Fox News commentator.