Though he was elected on a hardline agenda of enforcing immigration laws, President Donald Trump did little to dismantle one of President Obama’s biggest amnesty programs, spurring Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine other state attorneys general across the country threaten to file suit against the administration earlier this year.
These ten Republican AGs, as well as Republican Governor Butch Otter of Idaho, issued Trump an ultimatum: End DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or go to court to defend the unconstitutional amnesty program.
The program, created by one of former President Obama’s many executive orders, allows for certain illegal immigrants, most typically those enrolled in colleges and universities, to avoid deportation despite their illegal status. The program has also allowed for illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, welfare, and social security cards.
DACA has long been opposed by conservatives across the board, and has been a thorn in the side of taxpayers since its implementation in 2012. Moreover, the unconstitutional implementation by President Obama has set both an unfair and nasty precedent for people dependent on the program and likely encouraged further illegal immigration.
In their letter to Trump months ago, they set a deadline of September 5th for the Trump administration to rescind the program or face a joint lawsuit from all of the states involved.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced they would be winding down the program with a final termination set for 6 months from now. In a statement, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that removing DACA would be “an orderly, lawful wind-down, including the cancellation of the memo that authorized this program [DACA].”
After the administration released their decision, Paxton praised the nation’s return to the rule of law.
“I applaud President Trump for phasing out DACA. As the Texas-led coalition explained in our June letter, the Obama-era program went far beyond the executive branch’s legitimate authority” Paxton stated.
While conservatives are celebrating the decision today, the six month delay provides cause for concern. Already, moderate Republicans in Congress are planning on partnering with Democrats to extend the program through legislation. While such a proposal would certainly be preferable to illegal executive orders, such a maneuver will be another example of Republican legislators abandoning the campaign promises they’ve made to voters over the past decade.