Idaho leaders today are reacting to news from the White House that President Trump has ordered a phasing-out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which has offered protections to young, undocumented immigrants.
“I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents,” President Trump said in a statement. “But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.”
President Trump urged Congress to replace it before the phasing out begins March 5, 2018.
“Officials from 10 States are suing over the program, requiring my Administration to make a decision regarding its legality,” Mr. Trump said. “The Attorney General of the United States, the Attorneys General of many states, and virtually all other top legal experts have advised that the program is unlawful and unconstitutional and cannot be successfully defended in court.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement from the Department of Justice. “I am here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded,” Mr. Sessions said.
President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order in 2012 to establish the program. About 788,000 people received protections under the program.
Idaho was one of the ten states that urged the federal government to phase out DACA and threatening to sue if it wasn’t. Idaho Governor Butch Otter was the only governor who joined the ten state attorneys general.
“I appreciate the Attorney General’s recognition of the constitutional problems with the Obama Administration’s executive action,” Mr. Otter said in a statement today. “I also support the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to phase out the DACA program in a way that will minimize the impact on current DACA beneficiaries. In the meantime, I call on Congress to redouble its efforts to restore the effectiveness of and public confidence in our nation’s immigration system.”
“I’ve long held that DACA was created through an unconstitutional executive order because – under the Constitution – the responsibility of creating immigration policy falls squarely on Congress,” Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said in a statement. “However, the root of this entire issue is Congress’s failure to pass a law that takes into account the needs of everyday families, especially those families whose ties cross international borders.
“This announcement from the administration paves the way for our federal lawmakers to finally step up and deal with this very important issue once and for all,” Mr. Wasden said.
Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador, Chairman of the House Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee, said, “I have consistently opposed DACA because it’s an unconstitutional program that undermines the rule of law. President Obama did not have the authority to create DACA; only Congress could establish such a program.
“I applaud President Trump for respecting the Constitution and keeping a campaign promise,” Mr. Labrador said. “Through his action today, President Trump is creating leverage for larger immigration reform, which should include border wall funding and stronger interior enforcement. As Chairman of the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee, I will continue working with my colleagues and the Administration on fixing all aspects of our broken immigration system.”
Idaho U.S. Senator Mike Crapo said, “The appropriate treatment of children brought to the United States illegally at a young age is one of the key issues we must deal with in immigration reform legislation. However, the DACA program was created unconstitutionally without the public accountability and deliberation provided by an act of Congress. There is urgent need for Congress to enact rational, comprehensive immigration policy. To ensure widespread confidence and long-term sustainability, reforms must be done through a public process that includes the American people, Congress, and the Administration. Today’s announcement by the Administration returns the decision-making for immigration policy, including the DACA program, to the people’s representatives in Congress for action.”
The ACLU of Idaho said in a statement today that “Our nation is strongest when every one of us can contribute and share ideas, and when everyone’s basic rights and dignity are respected. The DACA program does just that, enabling young Dreamers to fully participate in their education, work, and family life, and to contribute to our nation’s social fabric and economic engine.
“The President failed in taking moral leadership to protect the lives of nearly 800,000 young aspiring Americans living in the United States under DACA status. DACA served as the lifeline for immigrants who came here as children seeking a better future, and now the threat of deportation hangs over their heads.”
Posted September 5, 2017