Ron Knecht and James Smack: Key facts about DACA
September 12, 2017
Democrats, statist liberals, other leftists and their media echo chamber were in full-throated "sky is falling" mode over the Labor Day weekend about the supposed imminent repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by President Trump.
First, note this. When you govern with a "pen and a phone," as former President Obama so famously did when he could not get what he wanted from Congress, a DACA repeal by order of the next president is a potential result. Governing by executive order works only when the next president is going to follow your lead.
An Obama executive order created DACA, not a law passed by Congress as provided in our Constitution. President Trump had the option to reverse this order at any point from the day he took office, yet he chose to wait until now.
In fact, he could have reversed every executive order by Obama. Instead, he has only selected certain ones to this point. It's his right as President of the United States. This is the danger of governing by executive order as Obama did.
Trump has provided an opportunity to make DACA the law of the land. He reversed Obama's order, but delayed the action for six months. This gives Congress time to set up DACA the way it should have been established, through passing legislation in both houses of Congress and then sending it to the president for a signature. The way the Constitution provides.
In other words, President Trump is telling members of Congress to do their job.
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We believe there is enough support on both sides of the aisle to pass something very similar, if not exactly the same as DACA. This is how laws are supposed to be passed: not by executive order, but by Congress acting and the president signing the legislation into law if it's worthy.
Some states, including New York, are threatening to sue the Trump Administration to reverse the President's action. In the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin quotes a joint statement by the New York governor and attorney general: "If he moves forward with this cruel action, New York State will sue to protect the 'dreamers' and the state's sovereign interest in the fair and equal application of the law."
It's amazing how the Trump Administration has turned statist liberal politicians into advocates of the tenth amendment to the Constitution.
Here's hoping they choose to litigate. Why? Because we could get a wide-ranging Supreme Court decision about the use of the executive order and presidential power.
This matter opens a prime opportunity for the court to make a decision that defines and limits the scope of all executive orders for Trump and all future presidents. A decision by the justices could even lay the groundwork for challenging any executive order from any president dating back to 1789 that does not meet Constitutional muster.
As Clint Eastwood said in Sudden Impact, "Go ahead, make my day."
The Rubin article also reviews the many options the minority party members have to ensure DACA becomes actual law. It even implies they could hold the debt ceiling increase hostage or tie DACA to Hurricane Harvey relief.
How about this, Democrats? Try reaching across the aisle and putting together a bipartisan immigration reform plan that includes DACA, plus border security and other issues. This is an opportunity for you to show your good intentions, to compromise and actually to achieve good ends.
If they could only set aside their blind Trump Derangement Syndrome to do something to benefit the country.
This also provides the Republican Party with the opportunity to take the lead on immigration reform. Republican leaders have a golden opportunity to not only give the President what he wants in terms of border security; they could also lead the way in turning DACA into the law of the land as part of a comprehensive immigration reform package.
In other words, President Trump has members of Congress right where he wants them: He gets immigration reform and DACA passed by Congress, or he can hold Congress accountable for not getting the job done. Trump wins either way.
But you'll never hear that from the statist liberal biased media.
Ron Knecht is Nevada Controller. James Smack is Deputy Controller.