Right and Left on Trump’s DACA Decision

Mr. Erickson admits that the president “probably does not have constitutional motives for undoing DACA.” That doesn’t change the fact that, according to Mr. Erickson, the program is unconstitutional. And while he supports DACA in principle, he maintains that “the constitution has to override everything else,” including his personal preferences. Read more »


Andrew C. McCarthy in National Review:

“Trump should do what he should have done his first day in office. He should declare the Obama-administration guidance null and void.”

The president has made the DACA problem “more complicated than it needs to be,” writes Mr. McCarthy. He outlines a “straightforward” solution that hews to the “limitations of his office.” While he helps Congress “hammer out a legislative compromise,” Mr. Trump could use prosecutorial discretion — a “resource-allocation doctrine” that allows the executive branch to prioritize which cases it pursues — to protect the so-called dreamers from prosecution. Read more »


From the Left


President Trump outside the White House last week. Credit Al Drago for The New York Times

Mark Joseph Stern in Slate:

“Trump will take a lot flack for ending DACA, and he’ll deserve it. But the truth is that Republican politicians forced his hand. Republican xenophobia predates Trump, and it’ll outlive him, too.”

Phasing out DACA, Mr. Stern reminds his readers, wasn’t the president’s idea. Instead, he writes, “the bulk of the blame for killing DACA will fall on the Republican Party.” Spearheaded by Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas, Republican hard-liners forced the Trump administration to take a stand on a program that it had previously treated as a “kind of institutional compromise: a policy that it wouldn’t have implemented but wasn’t eager to jettison.” Read more »


Ben Smith in BuzzFeed:

“President Trump, cornered, weakened, and apparently unable to get his hands on the usual levers of presidential powers, has adopted pretty much the worst possible strategy for someone trying to wield the power of the most powerful job in the world: He’s shooting the hostages.”

Mr. Smith points out that the president has made a habit of squandering any political leverage he has for no tangible returns. It’s one thing that contributes to the “surprising weakness of his presidency.” Rather than using DACA as a bargaining chip in exchange for a larger, more nationalist immigration bill, President Trump will spend more of his political capital only to, possibly, become a “sulking bystander” if Congress restores the program.

Read more »


Leah Litman in Take Care:

“Ending DACA is not a principled standard about the separation of powers. Rescinding DACA either caters to a base that wants the United States to be unthinkably cruel to immigrants, or fulfills officials’ desire to force immigrants into hopeless, difficult situations.”

Arguments that hold that DACA should have gone through Congress would be “slightly more credible if it came from an administration that had not embraced expansive views of presidential authority,” writes Ms. Litman. The administration’s statements on the travel ban betray a “breathtakingly broad” interpretation of the president’s authority in issues of immigration. Moreover, she points out, “Republican legislators voted against doing DACA legislatively,” when they voted against the Dream Act. Any claim Republicans make toward wanting to pass DACA through legislation, is “just window dressing.” Read more »


And Finally, From the Center:

The editorial board of USA Today:

“The right approach is to just leave the program alone, acknowledging that it works and that 800,000 people should not be cast into exile or used as pawns in a political chess match.”

USA Today’s editorial board argues that ‘dreamers,’ “more than any other immigrant group,” are well assimilated into American culture. Their departure would be “disruptive” to their communities and for the economy: “Many have become small business owners or have highly coveted job skills.” Read more »


Anna Maria Barry-Jester in Five Thirty Eight:

“For months, some pro-immigrant groups have warned against sending in new applications for the program, saying that the detailed information given to confirm eligibility could be used to deport enrollees or family members in the future.”

Even if Mr. Trump decided not to do away with DACA, writes Ms. Barry-Jester, damage to the program — and re-enrollment rates — has already been done. While she acknowledges that polling of undocumented populations is notoriously unreliable, the best available data shows that a substantial proportion of those protected by DACA are hesitant to reapply to the program for fear that their personal information will lead to deportation. Read more »


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