Donald J Trump, finding himself between the Rock of moral justice and the Hard Place of existing law, has “punted” on DACA.
For those of us who argue that this man is unfit to be president of the United States, is a danger in so many ways to this Country and should therefore be speedily removed from office by legal and Constitutional means, the immediate reaction is to condemn this “punt” in the strongest terms. Particularly since clearly many people in his political “base” want the DACA children expelled for the reason that they are “foreign.”
Indeed, if one looks at the fact that the children involved were brought here through no intention of their own to break the law, who then have shown a remarkable ability to benefit the entire Country by their presence, why it is easy to believe those should be the only things to consider.
The DACA program was established by President Obama by Executive Order in 2012, after appeals to Congress over a good many years to legalize the presence of these children failed. Congressional Republicans led the fight against the so-called “Dream Act” and today lead the fight to see to it that these children are deported.
But, you say, President Obama gave them legal status. Well, let’s talk about that.
Congress has the power to enact laws and the Courts have the power to judge whether those laws are Constitutional. Now, when a president says he, too, has the right to “make law” through an “Executive Order” that, too, has always been open to Court review and decision, as it should be. Surely none of us wants to be ruled by the unchecked whim of a president.
When Donald J Trump issued his first Executive Order travel ban on people from certain predominantly Muslim countries, the Courts in scathing language invalidated it. When he revised it, the Supreme Court modified it to allow more people in than the president would have.
What now, of President Trump’s Executive Order ending the DACA program established by President Obama’s Executive Order?
Face it, whether the DACA children are here through no fault of their own and whether they have demonstrated they are the kind of people we want here, need here, are proud to see here, they are not here legally. Unless Congress changes the existing Immigration Law or the Courts invalidate the applicable portion, that fact is plain. And though I wish it were otherwise, that is one of those “stubborn facts” of which John Adams spoke.
Of course, should Texas and other states proceed with their suit claiming the DACA act is unconstitutionally illegal, the Courts might disagree and find that President Obama’s DACA order had a Constitutional or Legislative underpinning. And a suit against President Trump’s new order may convince the Courts that his does not. But those are “weak reeds” on which to pin the hopes for making legal the DACA children’s presence.
The remedy, forced on us by President Trump’s action, is to be found in our System of Government established by the Founders of our Nation.
It is now up to Congress to pass a “Dream Act’ which would not only make legal the DACA children’s presence but to provide a sure path to citizenship for the vast majority of them. And it is up to all of us to put political pressure on Congress to do it. And if Congress fails to act , it is up to us to intensify political and moral pressure on Donald J Trump to modify his order until a new Congress does, as someday it surely will.
But what is not acceptable is that you and I, any of us, get to decide which laws are just and should be obeyed and which laws are not and surely we must agree that the Courts should also decide what laws a president may make or suspend by the stroke of his Executive Pen.
There are many people working today to tear down our system of Government, to tear down our Rule of Law and Donald J Trump has demonstrated again and again that he is one of them.
Not us, not ever us!
Looking at this action through the
After saying some months ago that he would consider President Obama’s Executive Order protecting children who were brought to this Country by their parents with a “big heart,” saying that the some eight hundred thousand members of the DACA class had nothing to fear from him, President Trump has now signed an Executive Order reversing President Obama’s Executive Order of 2012 that established the DACA protection.