Tuesday, September 5, 2017

DACA - Abuse of Power


Barack Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy with a speech in the Rose Garden of the White House on 15 June 2012. The problem is that only Congress can determine immigration policy. Article I, Section 8, clause 4 of the Constitution entrusts the federal legislative branch (Congress) with the power to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” Because only Congress has the power to enact immigration guidelines, Republican Party leaders denounced the program as an misuse of executive power.

From the late 1800s through the present day, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld almost every federal immigration regulation against constitutional challenge, citing Congress’s unlimited power in this area. In 2012 Justice Kennedy wrote in a decision regarding Arizona v. United States:

The Government of the United States has broad, undoubted power over the subject of immigration and the status of aliens. … This authority rests, in part, on the National Government’s constitutional power to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” U. S. Const., Art. I, §8, cl. 4, and its inherent power as sovereign to control and conduct relations with foreign nations….”

On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the program is being rescinded. He added that implementation will be suspended for six months, and DACA permits that expire during the next six months will continue to be renewed. In a follow-up statement, Trump said "It is now time for Congress to act!