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Sarah Sanders: ‘Pathetic’ Congress ‘Using Courts as an Excuse’ in DACA Deal Failure

Senators, DACA
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Washington, DC

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called Congress “pathetic” during Monday’s press briefing, commenting on their inability to take action on the four-pillar plan that the President laid out for them on a DACA deal.

March 5 had been the deadline and end to the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) illegal alien program, but court action has delayed the end of the Obama-era executive order program.

A reporter asked Sanders what the next steps are for the White House and any message to Congress with the arrival of the March 5 mark.

Sanders called it “absolutely terrible that Congress has failed to act.”

In September 2017, President Donald Trump directed an end to the program that delayed potential deportation of illegal aliens brought to the United States while still minors. He called on Congress to find a solution for the DACA population, many of whom are now adults. The move gave Congress six months to come to a deal and pass legislation on the issue. Trump later issued four pillars that he wanted to see Congress include in a DACA deal and declared he would sign such a bill.

Sanders recalled the events for reporters and chastised Congress for failing to act on “legislation and principles that the majority of members of Congress have supported in the past.”

“They claim to want to fix DACA. The President laid out a pathway and an exact way to do that. They failed to address it,” she continued, while expressing hope from the White House that Congress will “actually do their jobs, show up, and get something done and fix this problem, not kick it down the road and not continue to ignore it.”

DACA challenges continue to move through the court system. Sanders responded to a question as to what happens when the case gets to the Supreme Court: “We fully expect to win on an appeal, and if we need to go to the Supreme Court, we feel very confident there as well, but again, it’s Congress’s job to pass laws.”

“The sad part is that both Republicans and Democrats don’t disagree on most of the merits of this legislation,” said Sanders, who then called Congress “pathetic” and accused them of using the court system as an excuse as they have failed to pass legislation.

“The fact that they can’t actually come together and get something done is pathetic, and now they’re using the courts as an excuse,” she said. “They need to come to work and actually do what they were elected to do.”

As February came to a close, the Supreme Court announced that it would not grant a Department of Justice request to expedite the DACA case, skipping the liberal U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that is dealing with the case now.

White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah shot back at the decision, calling the DACA program “clearly unlawful.” He added, “The district judge’s decision to unilaterally re-impose a program that Congress had explicitly and repeatedly rejected is a usurpation of legislative authority.” He then reaffirmed the White House belief that they would ultimately prevail.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 


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