ANALYSIS: Trump wrongly vilified for attempting to end unconstitutional DACA program

Legal wrangling over the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was extended on Friday, Aug. 31, in a 117-page ruling by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who declined to issue a preliminary injunction effectively preserving the program for now.

Since its creation in June 2012, DACA has allowed over 800,000 illegal child immigrants to remain in the U.S. legally through two-year deferments and renewable work permits.

A case in which 10 states, including Texas, filed suit to end the program, Judge Hanen told petitioners while DACA is likely unconstitutional, the harm alleged upon DACA’s litigants was not serious in view of the fact petitioners waited an extended period of time to lodge a complaint in court.

Plantaiffs had argued DACA was illegal because its creation and existence violates the procedural and substantive aspects of the Administrative Procedure Act and is also in violation of the Constitution’s “take care” clause which stipulates the president must ensure federal law is enforced.

In his ruling, Hanen, who previously ruled against both DACA and the 2014 Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, told litigants the Obama administration had no authority to create DACA and did so through bypassing Congress.

Although Hanen blasted the creation of DACA, defining it a product of executive overreach, he told petitioners the six-year period between DACA’s creation and the May filing demonstrated hardship caused by the program was negligible.

“The states could have brought a lawsuit against the entire program in 2012 or anytime thereafter.  Instead they asked to shut down a program that’s been in operation for more than six years, which would deprive DACA recipients of their legal status and ability to work,” Hanen wrote.

His ruling, however, also offered dark hints the clock may expire on the program very soon.  In a concluding statement, Hanen described DACA as “always revocable and not conferring any permanent rights.”

“If the nation truly wants a DACA program, it is up to Congress to say so,” the judge declared.


Former President Obama’s creation of DACA was clearly unconstitutional, as stated by Judge Hanen.

An election year stunt, in an arbitrary exercise of power Mr. Obama hatched DACA by executive order, effectively circumventing Congress.

Defined one way as a directive with the force of law on matters to assist in the management of the federal government, between 2009 and 2017, executive order was manipulated a total of 273 times by Obama during his two terms in office.

While Obama’s supporters frequently point to the fact he issued fewer executive orders than his predecessors, it is the manner of which Obama exploited the executive tool:  Mr. Obama perceived executive order as a power to effectively sidestep Congress and rule as English monarchs did in the 17th century.

Democrats, however, expressed no umbrage at Obama’s willingness to thwart the federal legislature and effectively avoid consulting House and Senate leaders on a matter requiring congressional cooperation.

While all presidents have sought in some way to ignore both the judicial or legislative branches of government, Obama was a serial abuser of executive order.

A left-wing theologian, Mr. Obama believed granting amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants by fiat did not exceed his authority.  However, Obama did as much precisely because he feared congressional objection, dreaded altering his original plans, was agitated at the legislative process weakening his vision, and, most important, because he was unable to mobilize support among the electorate.

Confronted with the DACA quandary, President Trump correctly rescinded the program in September 2017, and gave Congress six months to sort out Obama’s mess.  Mr. Trump’s decision, however, allowed illegal immigrants in the U.S. under the program to stay by way of existing work permits.

Furthermore, Trump’s resolve to end DACA did not mean an end of the program:  In revoking Mr. Obama’s exceeding executive authority, Trump turned the matter over to Congress, demanding legislative action and a “lawful democratic process.”

“Congress now has the opportunity to advance responsible immigration reform that puts American jobs and American security first.  I look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to finally address all of these issues in a manner that puts the hardworking citizens of our country first,” Trump said in a statement rescinding DACA.

Two years removed from the Obama disaster, Americans are now becoming more familiar with the grim reality of how the former president’s monarchical instincts stretched the limits of executive power and caused turmoil in the court system.

For the act of ending a program described as unconstitutional and returning the responsibility to Congress, President Trump has been mistakenly branded an autocrat. Nothing could be further from the relative truth.


[NBC News] [CNN] [Time] [Photo courtesy Daily Deets]