LONSBERRY: Trump Is Right To Dump DACA


Donald Trump is right to end the dream.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program needs to go away. Authorized by Barack Obama in 2012, and providing something like indefinite legal status to almost a million illegal aliens, it has always been bad law.

Maybe not bad policy, but absolutely bad law.


Because the Constitution empowers Congress to address matters of naturalization, and consequently immigration and immigrant status. That empowerment of Congress is an implicit disempowerment of the president.

But Obama did it anyway.

Because he was power hungry, and the Congress was spineless.

All that's changed is that now we have a president who -- at least on this issue -- is not power hungry. Unfortunately, based on the complaining, Congress is still spineless.

What's happening?

Today it is believed that the attorney general of the United States will announce the end of DACA. In effect, he will announce that the Obama executive order establishing it is being reversed by a Trump executive order disestablishing it.

That's what you hear on the news.

What's being glossed over by Democrat and Republican complainers in Congress is that the Trump order won't be implemented for six months. That is for the specific purpose of allowing Congress to act on the matter of the dreamers.

If Congress thinks DACA is a good idea, let it use its constitutional authority and pass it itself.

The Trump move is less an effort to chase illegals out of the country and more an effort to follow rule of law, specifically the process by which something becomes law. Obama's DACA allows people brought here illegally before age 16 -- who have not yet reached the age of 30 -- to obtain a renewable two-year status that allows them to work and drive and do business legally.

If that is a good policy -- and it may well be -- then all the Congress has to do is enact it. The speaker and minority leader of the House have said it should be preserved, as have the majority leader and minority leader of the Senate. That seems to be everybody. If between them they cannot get something passed, then we've got a bigger problem than immigration.

Where DACA goes wrong is that it is a presidential order exercising a congressional power, and the Constitution is against that. In fact, today's move by Trump is probably prompted by a threatened lawsuit from the Texas state government seeking to overturn the Obama order on exactly those grounds.

That's the simple truth. Nobody is calling to thrown anybody out. This isn't about cruelty or entitlement or whatever other sensational thing they twist this into on the evening news, this is about doing the right thing the right way.

But Congress doesn't want to do that.

Because, in spite of all the bellyaching, the gridlock of Congress works for the two political parties. It empowers them both, drawing to them contributions, volunteers and pissed-off supporters. Conflict is the source of power and energy for both my Republicans and your Democrats. Neither side wants to do anything, especially on passionate issues from which both sides draw much political capital.

Illegal immigration has been a gold mine for both parties, and the dreamers have been the Jerry's Kids of this whole charade. But it's time to stop exploiting them, and start resolving their issue -- not as an illegal executive order, but as a matter of reliable legislation and law.

Congressional leaders -- and most polls -- say the principles of DACA are good. So they should clean up the paperwork and come back from the summer vacation to address this issue. They should take a stand, vote on a bill and resolve this matter once and for all.

For the country, and for the people affected by this policy.

This isn't Trump, this is the Congress.

And its members are the only people Trump is endangering by this repeal.

He's just making them do their job.

The Constitution tells the Congress to legislate on matters of immigration. It's about time it did.

Bob Lonsberry

Bob Lonsberry

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