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The White House is being threatened by 20 Democratic attorneys general to fight the administration over its decision to rescind former President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The Obama administration implemented DACA in 2012. It is designed to keep 800,000 children of illegal immigrants from being deported from the U.S.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) was representative of the states' attorneys general who seek to sue the administration.
“President Trump has turned his back on hundreds of thousands of children and young Americans who came forward and put their trust in government,” Becerra said, according to The Hill. “But in terminating DACA, the Trump administration has also violated the Constitution and federal law.”
This is a through-the-looking-glass interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and federal law. The Obama administration had multiple executive actions blocked by federal courts, including the Supreme Court. DACA is a charged issue and is widely viewed as compassionate, but it does not obviate the strictures of U.S. law.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was equally caustic and oblivious to the actual law he is charged to enforce.
"President Trump's decision to end the DACA program would be cruel, gratuitous and devastating to tens of thousands of New Yorkers, and I will sue to protect them,” he said, according to The Hill.
Attorneys general are empowered to defend the law and refrain from empty political posturing for electioneering purposes. The Trump administration merely corrected the lawless act of the previous administration and put the onus on solving a public policy issue where it rightfully belongs: the U.S. Congress.
The Congress legislates. The executive branch enforces the law. This is not difficult to understand. Unless the Democratic Party wants the current president to legislate from the executive branch based on his feelings, it should be cautious about what legal precedents it's seeking to establish.
As Obama once said of his office, “I am not king.” Let's keep the U.S. presidency that way.
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.