Trump Says Immigration Deal ‘To the Benefit of All’ Will Be Made If Supreme Court Rules in His Favor on DACA

President Donald Trump said on Sept 6 that a bipartisan immigration deal “will be made to the benefit of all” in Congress if the Supreme Court rules to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“DACA will be going before the Supreme Court. It is a document that even President Obama didn’t feel he had the legal right to sign – he signed it anyway! Rest assured that if the SC does what all say it must, based on the law, a bipartisan deal will be made to the benefit of all!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

The DACA program, signed by President Barack Obama via executive order in 2012, provides amnesty to thousands of illegal immigrants who were brought into the United States as minors and prevents them from being deported while allowing them to obtain a work permit for two years with the opportunity of renewal. There were about 700,000 DACA recipients in September 2017—when the Trump administration announced an end to the program saying it would throw out all new applications and take appropriate actions to phase out the program—according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (pdf).

Trump has repeatedly called the program unconstitutional and had vowed to end it.

Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote in a letter (pdf) to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) explaining his determination to end the program.

“DACA was effectuated by the previous administration through executive action, without proper statutory authority and with no established end-date, after Congress’ repeated rejection of proposed legislation that would have accomplished a similar result. Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch,” he wrote.

The decision to end the program was met with much opposition. Multiple federal courts ruled against Trump’s move to end DACA, with some federal judges ruling that Trump could not terminate the program and ordering USCIS to continue accepting and adjudicating on DACA renewal applications.

On June 28, the Supreme Court decided to review the constitutionality of DACA—a temporary win for the Trump administration. A ruling on this case will likely come in 2020.

Trump also said on Sept. 6 that President Barrack Obama did not have the “legal right to sign DACA, and he indicated so at the time of signing.”

“But In any event, how can he have the right to sign and I don’t have the right to [have it] ‘unsigned.’ Totally illegal document which would actually give the President new powers,” Trump wrote.

Obama had repeatedly admitted that he lacked the constitutional and legal authority to create the immigration program. According to the Heritage Foundation, Obama declared in 2010 that “I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself” while responding to demands to implement immigration reforms. Then in 2011, he said, “[with] respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case.”

Later that year, Obama said he couldn’t “just bypass Congress and change the [immigration] law myself. … That’s not how a democracy works.” But in 2012, that is what he did.

In a legal brief submitted to the Supreme Court in August, Justice Department lawyers stated that the Trump administration had “correctly, and at a minimum reasonably, concluded that DACA is unlawful,” according to The New York Times.

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Author: Janita Kan

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