Just two days after formally rescinding DACA, President Donald Trump is implying that its recipients needn’t worry about any slow-moving response from Congress.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program – frequently referred to by its acronym, DACA – gave young men and women who arrived to the United States illegally as children an opportunity to reside and work without worry in America.
DACA has benefited nearly one million individuals since its creation in 2012 by former President Barack Obama, who has publicly criticized Trump’s decision to pull the program.
“To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong,” wrote Obama on Facebook. “It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel.”
According to CNN, the statement was among the longest and most significant political excursions the former president has made since leaving office. Although he didn’t criticize Trump by name, Obama’s post didn’t hold back from railing against policy.
“It’s a political question, and a moral decision,” he wrote. “Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us.”
Obama was joined in his condemnation by another former president – Bill Clinton publicly called Trump’s decision “cruel,” saying it created problems without solving any.
“It’s wrong because it’s bad policy that solves no pressing problem and raises new ones. It’s wrong because it’s irresponsible, passing the buck instead of offering sensible solutions for immigration reform,” said Clinton in a statement Tuesday. “Most of all, it’s wrong because it’s cruel to send these young people to places many of them have never lived and do not know. For them this is home.
“The United States is their home,” he said.
Critics and proponents of the administration alike have speculated that Trump was pigeonholed into making his decision by an impending lawsuit, threatened by the conservative attorneys general of eleven states.
The attorneys general promised to launch a lawsuit against the federal government if DACA wasn’t rescinded by September 5th.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions publicly speculated that DACA wasn’t likely to withstand any significant legal action, given its general incompatibility with immigration law.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his cohorts said that their lawsuit did not demand that any immediate action or deportations result from the rescinding of DACA.
A Tweet by President Donald Trump on Thursday promised that Dreamers need not worry about their future.
Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can't, I will revisit this issue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2017
Trump has also suggested that he might be willing to take executive steps to ensure that DACA recipients are protected if Congress doesn’t form or pass any legislation by March of 2018, when some beneficiaries would begin losing their protected status.