All indications are that on Tuesday, President Trump will rescind the illegal “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program launched in June of 2012 by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on orders from President Obama.
Congress has had over five years to render DACA constitutional through legislation and has not done so. A group of eight state attorneys general and one governor have promised to file a lawsuit to end the program if Trump does not act by September 5.
Not too surprisingly, Trump’s action is being criticized by the same Republican congressional leaders who failed to stand up to Obama’s unconstitutional usurpation of power in launching DACA by purely administrative means. They were content — even happy — to let Obama undertake the quasi-amnesty instead of passing a law to do it legally.
So, why are so many Republicans acting surprised and declaring opposition over the president’s decision to end an unconstitutional program? Congress could recreate the DACA program by statute tomorrow if that’s what the American people want. So, why not welcome the challenge and just do it?
Members of Congress could not reach agreement on legislating an amnesty for the so-called “Dreamers” in 2010 or 2012 — and still cannot do so in 2017. That much is obvious from the different and contradictory bills that have been introduced since Trump’s election to block the president’s expected action.
By ending the government’s issuance of new DACA work permits but not canceling them immediately, the president is generously allowing them to expire over the next two years. Thus, Congress can “save DACA” by enacting amendments to current immigration law. But, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details, and — surprise! — there is no consensus among Republicans on what “saving DACA” means or how to do it. The Republican lawmakers who want to give legal status to the 780,000 current beneficiaries of DACA will be at war with others who want to use their fate as the excuse to pass a much broader amnesty affecting millions.
The noxious flavor of the Republican dilemma is illustrated by the political gymnastics of Republican Congressman Michael Coffman of Colorado. Coffman is so desirous of maintaining his “amnesty panderer in chief” status that he says he is going to offer a bill to order President Trump to continue the unlawful Obama program. More astonishing, Coffman is so desperate to save DACA that he has begun threatening to file a discharge petition — which needs 218 signatures — to force his bill out of committee and bring it to a vote on the House floor. Of course, this is just for optics. Discharge petitions rarely succeed and he knows it. Doesn’t matter. He thinks it plays well with the people for whom he is so desperate to prostitute himself and the Republican party.
Thus, Republicans in Congress now have a new problem: Trump, by challenging Congress to deal with the “childhood arrivals” question lawfully and legislatively, has deftly called their bluff. In effect, Trump has said, “Put up or shut up.” Odds are high they will do neither.
Here’s the bottom line. If Republican critics of the president’s action ending DACA really want to “save DACA,” that is, granting full legal status to the approximately 780,000 “Dreamers” who benefitted from DACA, that is an easy bill to write and it could be passed and placed on the president’s desk before Thanksgiving. But that will not happen — and the liberal media will, as always, blame Trump, not Congress.
Of course, it’s also possible that the Republicans will collapse like the piggy’s straw house and legalize all the illegal aliens — the “childhood arrivals” through yesterday, plus their parents, their cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. They will do so knowing that they are whistling past the political graveyard — and this time, it is their graveyard.