By all accounts, President Trump is about to phase out the DACA program. DACA grants work permits to about 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children
Trump reportedly will delay terminating the program for six months. This gives Congress time to pass legislation to replace it, if Congress chooses to do so.
Trump has made the right decision. As Hans von Spakovsky argues, under our Constitution, Congress has plenary authority over immigration; the president only has authority that has been delegated to him by Congress. President Obama acted unlawfully when he tried, by the stroke of his pen, to transform the presence of “dreamers” from illegal, as Congress deems it, to legal.
Obama tried to do the same thing for a broader class of illegal immigrants through the DAPA program. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down this illegal amnesty. The DACA is just as illegal.
President Trump’s action will place the issue where it belongs — before Congress. What should Congress do?
There is much to be said for granting amnesty to Dreamers who fulfill certain conditions. But all amnesties encourage more illegal immigration.
That’s why DACA-style amnesty, as sympathetic as it is, should be conditioned on measures that make the border more secure. Congress should not enact such an amnesty standing alone.
Kellyanne Conway expressed this view on Fox & Friends. She said the president’s decision should be viewed as part of an “entire economic and domestic agenda” that includes an end to sanctuary cities, increased border security and constructing a wall along the southern border.
It seems unlikely that Congress will pass a package like this. More likely, it will pass a free-standing DACA-style amnesty.
I doubt it could do so with a veto-proof majority, but I doubt President Trump would use the veto in this instance.
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