DACA: Constitutional or not? That is the question.
By Ashley Moreda
Posted on September 21, 2017 at 12:16 PM PDT
With Capitol Hill in an uproar over the Dream Act’s downward demise, the situation begs the question: Is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals actually unconstitutional?
In Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Tuesday announcement on The Dream Act, he stated, “This policy was implemented unilaterally to great controversy and legal concern after Congress rejected legislative proposals to extend similar benefits on numerous occasions to this same group of illegal aliens. In other words, the executive branch, through DACA, deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions. Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch.”
This decision from the President’s Administration wasn’t just a part of a Trump campaign promise, but from the pressure of 9 attorney generals, and 1 governor, who threatened to sue the Trump Administration if they did not do away with DACA.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge weighed in on her reason for threatening to file suit saying, “There is no way around it: DACA is an unlawful program and must be phased out. I am not asking the government to remove any person currently covered by DACA or for the Administration to rescind DACA permits that have already been issued - this is about upholding the rule of law. Even former President Obama acknowledged many times that he did not have the authority to unilaterally grant this type of legal status to over one million aliens.”
Lawful or not, the Supreme Court has yet to officially make that determination. After last year’s June standstill with a 4-4 Supreme Court ruling in a case against the former President’s plan, Constitutionality remained undecided. It is now up to Congress to determine the fate of DACA in the next six months.