An immigration enforcement activist says all three branches of government have dropped the ball when it comes to the DACA program.
Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, certain illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. as minors and who meet several guidelines may request they not be deported by Citizenship and Immigration Services for a period of two years, subject to renewal – and they are eligible for a work permit. The program, which was put in place in June 2012 by then-President Barack Obama without congressional approval, was ended by President Donald Trump and the Department of Homeland Security in September 2017.
Last week U.S. District Judge John Bates ruled that the Trump administration must reinstate DACA. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions responded this week, calling the judge's ruling "improper" and one of a "number of decisions in which courts have improperly used judicial power to steer, enjoin, modify, and direct executive policy."
The U.S. Supreme Court bears some responsibility for the way DACA has been handled, says William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.
"In fact when the Supreme Court saw DACA happen – which was clearly unconstitutional [and] clearly a violation of numerous existing immigration laws – it should have intercepted that and handled that immediately," says Gheen, "but they've turned it down several times."
According to the ALIPAC president, Trump doesn't have to listen to any of the judges who claim they have jurisdiction over DACA.
"This isn't a law, this is not an executive order: this is a set of memos that Donald Trump could have ended on his first day [in office]," he argues. "And he could end [it] today by sending out another memo that said these prior memos from Obama creating DACA amnesty for illegals are no longer valid."
And Gheen says the judicial and executive branches aren't the only ones who have failed to act.
"Our Congress is at fault," he adds. "DACA – which was the DREAM Act legislation that failed – continues to unconstitutionally be the law of this land, despite the fact that the same legislation was defeated in Congress several times."
AG Sessions said this week that the DOJ will take "every lawful measure" to vindicate what he called DHS's "lawful rescission" of DACA.