In his statement on DACA, which he ended effective in six months if Congress cannot pass a law enacting it, President Trump pointed to a subtlety lost on the supposed Intellectual Giant Barack Obama: That if we undermine the precepts of this country, we will destroy the values it represents. That includes the opportunity it grants immigrants.
From Trump’s statement:
As President, my highest duty is to defend the American people and the Constitution of the United States of America. At the same time, I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.
The legislative branch, not the executive branch, writes these laws – this is the bedrock of our Constitutional system, which I took a solemn oath to preserve, protect, and defend.
In June of 2012, President Obama bypassed Congress to give work permits, social security numbers, and federal benefits to approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants currently between the ages of 15 and 36. The typical recipients of this executive amnesty, known as DACA, are in their twenties. Legislation offering these same benefits had been introduced in Congress on numerous occasions and rejected each time.
That is, Obama didn’t get the law he wanted. So he decided, unconstitutionally, to write one himself. Obama, the Constitutional “scholar,” knew at least enough about the Constitution to know that he didn’t have the power to do this, as Trump points out.
In referencing the idea of creating new immigration rules unilaterally, President Obama admitted that “I can’t just do these things by myself” – and yet that is exactly what he did, making an end-run around Congress and violating the core tenets that sustain our Republic.
In addition to violating the Constitution, Obama abused the executive branch powers he did have by making policy through prosecutorial discretion. That is, he would keep the Dreamers here, as a policy, by simply not prosecuting them. Such discretion is supposed to be used to allocate resources, not make policy. Obama could have, theoretically, legalized anything he wanted and just called it prosecutorial discretion. It was a very dangerous precedent.
Now Trump, who has been pilloried as an idiot by the press, has taken a much more intellectually and ethically consistent approach. There are arguments for legalizing children who were brought here illegally and have only known the United States as their home. Those arguments need to be made in Congress, which decides what is legal and what is not. That is, makes the laws.