“If we can’t get it worked out in six months, we’ll give it some more time, but we’ve got to get this worked out legislatively”
All the hand-wringing and fear-mongering over Trump’s decision to kick DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) to Congress was for naught (as we predicted).
Last week, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) said Trump told him he’s willing to give Congress time to find a way to legally codify DACA, the extra-legal program created by President Obama providing temporary work authorization for DREAMers.
From the WaPo:
President Trump will extend a March 5 deadline to end protections for young undocumented immigrants if Congress fails to act by then, according to a Republican senator who spoke directly with the president about the issue.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said Trump told him he was willing to “give it some more time” to allow lawmakers to find a solution for “dreamers,” unauthorized immigrants brought to this country as children, if Congress does not pass legislation extending protections before time is up.
“The president’s comment to me was that, ‘We put a six-month deadline out there. Let’s work it out. If we can’t get it worked out in six months, we’ll give it some more time, but we’ve got to get this worked out legislatively,’ ” Lankford said outside a town hall here Thursday night.
Trump did not specify how long an extension might last, Lankford said.
“He wants a legislative solution,” the senator said. “His focus was, ‘We’ve got to get a legislative solution.’”
As we discussed when AG Sessions announced the administration’s decision to rescind DACA, protecting DREAMers is widely favored across party lines. Despite rhetoric to the contrary, the way DACA was created, not its substance has been the sticking point for most Republicans.
Ultimately, anything beyond the above listed changes is wildly speculative. If, and it looks as though it will be the case, DACA gets kicked to Congress, it will be up to the legislature to decide what, how, when, etc. As it should be. And until they tackle DACA, no one really knows how this will pan out.
All of the hand-wringing could very well be for naught if Congress comes up with something that would essentially codify DACA by other means. The upcoming Sessions’ announcement will bring an end to a well-intentioned program that was created extralegally and allow Congress the opportunity to protect DREAMers the right way. And Trump seems perfectly amenable to signing some form of a DREAM Act.
While Trump is amenable to creating legal DACA provisions, doing so comes at a steep price for Congressional Democrats. In exchange, the White House issued a tough list of border-securing measures.
Nevertheless, Tuesday, a federal judge in San Francisco ordered the Trump administration to, “turn over emails, letters, memos and other materials related to its decision to end,” DACA, reports Politico:
A federal judge in California on Tuesday ordered the Trump administration to turn over emails, letters, memos and other materials related to its decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The order by U.S. District Judge William Alsup, based in San Francisco, also appears to cover legal advice about winding down the program, which grants quasi-legal status and work permits to so-called Dreamers.
Acting in a series of lawsuits filed over the decision, the judge said the administration had waived its attorney-client privilege by claiming the decision was driven by concerns that the program is unconstitutional.
“Defendants argue that [the Department of Homeland Security] had to rescind DACA because it exceeded the lawful authority of the agency,” Alsup wrote. “They cannot, therefore, simultaneously refuse to disclose the legal research that led to that conclusion. Plaintiffs are entitled to challenge whether this was a reasonable legal position and thus reasonable basis for rescission. In making that challenge, plaintiffs are entitled to review the internal analyses that led up to this change in position.”
Democrats have pledged support to DREAMers anxious for Congress to get a move on:
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) October 18, 2017
Even if some DREAMers aren’t buying it.
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