A Bush-appointed federal judge ruled the Trump Administration must fully restore Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). U.S. District Judge John Bates in Washington, D.C., said he would stay the order until August 23.
The stay gives the administration time to decide whether to appeal. Judge Bates was appointed by George W. Bush in December 2001.
Despite strong opposition from the public, Barack Obama moved forward with DACA in 2012 and, in 2014, expanded it with Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). The latter was deemed unconstitutional, with DACA on the chopping block.
DAPA was struck down by the Fifth Circuit and that decision was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court before the appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch. The newest appointment to the Court would undoubtedly rule against DACA if given the chance.
On multiple occasions, the U.S. Congress rejected similar proposals, prompting Mr. Obama to do what he himself had said more than 20 times he did not have the authority to do.
“In other words, the executive branch, through DACA, deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch.”
Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time, though it does not provide lawful status.
Under DACA, no less than 700,000 young adults, who are often referred to by Big Media as “Dreamers,” were granted deferred status pertaining to deportation and given work permits for two-year periods, after which they must re-apply to the program.
In 2017, Attorney General Sessions announced that the Trump Administration would rescind DACA. Lawyers at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also told then-Secretary John Kelly, who is now White House Chief of Staff, the Obama-era policy is unlikely to hold up to legal scrutiny.
“Our collective wisdom is that the policy is vulnerable to the same 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,” Mr. Sessions said. “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.’”
In January of 2018, President Trump shocked his base and Democrats by releasing an immigration plan that would’ve provided a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million “dreamers” currently residing in the U.S. illegally. The proposal was unveiled ahead of schedule.
But the 4-pronged plan, which most conservative lawmakers viewed to be too generous, was rejected by the Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wanted a wedge issue to excite the base before the midterm elections.
Addressing the issue was a secondary concern to the congressional minority, who also don’t want to see an end to chain migration or unfettered illegal immigration at the U.S. southern border with Mexico.
Unfortunately, recently obtained records revealed 59,786 DACA recipients have been arrested while in the U.S., roughly 7.8% of all who have been approved under the program since it was created in 2012.
DHS also revealed an astonishing 53,792 DACA recipients were arrested before their most recent requests for a “grant of deferred action” were approved, and another 7,814 DACA recipients were arrested after their request was approved.
Two other liberal federal courts in California and New York had previously ruled against the Trump Administration, while the initial lawsuit filed in Texas federal court is seeking to end DACA.