The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was an executive policy governing immigration enforcement which then-President Barack Obama signed into effect via executive order in 2012 (later expanded upon in 2014). This policy protected so-called “Dreamers” from deportation, so named after the special class of alien residents identified in the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. Obama issued this executive order on the heels of the Congress rejecting passage of the DREAM Act repeatedly since it was first introduced over a decade earlier.
I wrote about the illegality of this executive action several years ago when Obama issued it.
The thing is, however, the United States Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land which grants all federal government powers and authority, specifically prohibits such unilateral executive action:
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States…
The Congress shall have the Power… To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization…
(All emphases added)
This is plain language and clearly enumerates that the president possesses no legal authority to make immigration policy in this country, particularly in response to the correct legal body’s rejection of said policy after lengthy and deliberate consideration.
Imagine for a moment if the current president decided to unilaterally protect or issue special privilege to certain special classes of persons from/with respect to congressionally legislated (or rejected) tax law, bankruptcy law, or powers of coining money (all of which are enumerated powers of Congress under Article I, Section 8).
Whether or not shielding “Dreamers” is a good or bad idea is a policy debate that is worth having, but what is not up for debate is the fact that the executive branch cannot legally make policy in this arena. It is Congress’ job to do or not do what it will with respect to this and any other immigration matters, plain and simple.
If you are outraged one way or another regarding the substantive merits of the policy, contact your congressman and senators. If you are outraged that President Trump terminated the order altogether, then you are signaling that you reject the rule of law and must accept the consequences that come with this.