Report: Trump’s Former DHS Chief Helped Weaken Rescission of Obama’s DACA that Led to SCOTUS Ruling

Acting Director of Homeland Security Elaine Duke testifying before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The former Acting Secretary for President Trump’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) admits that she helped weaken the legal case for the administration’s rescission of former President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

In September 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama’s DACA program that has allowed nearly 800,000 illegal aliens to remain in the U.S.

At the time, then-Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke — a former DHS official under former President George W. Bush — signed the inter-agency memo to end DACA but now admits she purposefully helped weaken its legal standing by not putting any policy reasons for the program’s rescission.

Duke said she wanted Congress to pass a DACA amnesty to make sure the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens enrolled in the program could permanently remain in the U.S.

The New York Times reported in Duke’s first interview since leaving DHS:

Ms. Duke said she did not include policy reasons in the memo because she did not agree with the ideas being pushed by Mr. Miller and Mr. Sessions: that DACA amounted to an undeserved amnesty and that it would encourage new waves of illegal immigration. [Emphasis added]

She said she still agreed that DACA “isn’t a legal program,” but hoped that Republicans and Democrats in Congress would eventually find a way to allow the undocumented immigrants covered by the program to live and work permanently in the United States. [Emphasis added]

Duke’s refusal to include specific policy reasons for ending DACA was vital to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision that demanded the Trump administration refile paperwork to end the program, as Breitbart News’s Joel Pollack reported at the time:

In a complex, 5-4 opinion, in which Chief Justice John Roberts joined the Court’s four liberal justices, the majority held that the administration had failed to offer sufficient reasons for rescinding the policy, and had failed to provide enough consideration about what would happen to the 700,000 people who had registered for the DACA program. [Emphasis added]

Likewise, Duke revealed in the Times interview that she will not yet commit to voting for Trump for a second term against Democrat Joe Biden.

“That’s a really hard question,” Duke told the Times when asked if she would vote for Trump in November. “But given the choices, I don’t know yet.”

Duke became Acting DHS Secretary after General John Kelly left the agency as chief to join Trump in the White House as the president’s chief of staff.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

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