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It's all hands on deck for the Democratic Party, as it attempts to preserve the lawless policy of former President Barack Obama known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Former President Bill Clinton has joined Obama in blasting the “cruel” Trump administration decision. Via Politico:
DACA has brought hundreds of thousands of young people out of the shadows — allowing them to live without fear, go to school, work, and contribute to America in countless other ways. These young people's dreams are part of the American Dream. And they make it more real for all of us. Today's decision by the White House to terminate DACA — and that is effectively what it attempts to do — will crush their dreams and weaken the American Dream for the rest of us.
It's wrong because it's bad policy that solves no pressing problem and raises new ones. It's wrong because it's irresponsible, passing the buck instead of offering sensible solutions for immigration reform. Most of all, it's wrong because it's cruel to send these young people to places many of them have never lived and do not know. For them this is home. The United States is their home.
Instead of punishing them, we should find ways to openly embrace them and to empower them to make their own contributions, as previous generations of immigrants have done.
Congress should act immediately to protect their status and pave the way for their future and America's future.
This Obama policy, decreed in 2012, is intended to protect 800,000 young people whose parents are not citizens or green card holders. Because the executive action is widely viewed as compassionate, it is being argued by former presidents that the rule of law no longer applies.
Clinton argued that Trump is “passing the buck” because he is asking Congress to do its legally empowered job.
Obama promised to reform immigration his first year in office but gave America disastrous Obamacare instead. He never got it done after eight years of flailing, lawless policy.
On Univision, when confronted about why he hasn't done more for amnesty on illegal immigration, then-President Obama said:
“The most important thing that we can do is to change the law because [that's] the way the system works — again, I just wanna repeat, I'm president, I'm not king. I'm not a king. I am the head of the executive branch of government. I'm required to follow the law. And that's what we've done.”
Because it's widely viewed as compassionate, DACA has defied the fate of similar Obama executive actions on immigration: being blocked by the federal courts and even struck down by the Supreme Court.
Obama changed his tune on executive power after Trump's election, exploding at the president for attempting to follow the law. Now, a second former Democratic president has joined in the nearly unprecedented act of condemning a sitting president.
But critics shouldn't blame Trump for attempting to institute the rule of law on immigration. They should turn to the institution designed and empowered to legislate in the United States: the Congress.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.