Before we begin, please check out our view on the policy behind the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. You can find our post about it here.
President Trump ended the DACA program and put in place a six-month suspense date for either the removal of protected status for DACA recipients or for Congress to establish an official law replacing the program. This move was met with fury from most on the left side of the aisle and with some grimacing from the right side of the aisle. It seems the majority of lawmakers and American citizens, including Trump supporters, feel DACA is a worthwhile program we should keep around. So what should we think about how the President handled its removal?
Although we here at Free Wheel Media support DACA, we do believe President Trump took the correct steps in regards to its removal and, hopefully, a replacement program. DACA, as policy, is a brilliant program that can help many hardworking and law abiding personnel, raised as American as one can be, become legal residents. However, the procedure behind how DACA was implemented should make all Americans squirm as it takes us down a policy-creating path inconsistent with the Constitution.
An objective fact of the matter is, Article I, Section 8 (Powers of Congress), Clause 4 entrusts the U.S. Congress with the power to create “an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” Section 8 begins with an introduction stating, “The Congress shall have Power” and continues to list duties and responsibilities of Congress. The 4th Clause states the duty, “To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;”
Our constitution, the covenant between this nation and its people for how the nation shall rule and the people be ruled, clearly states Congress is responsible for naturalization. Thus, immigration policy should be emplaced via law created through the legislative process.
Unfortunately, DACA was created via executive policy by the Obama administration in a move that circumvented Congress. Although President Obama did so out of empathy for the childhood arrivals and a frustration at an ineffective Congress, it does not make it right. If the Constitution assigned Congress the responsibility for establishing a uniform Rule of Naturalization, then the executive branch, by providing “deferred action” for a certain group of people violating said rule, has therefore violated the Constitution.
President Trump, by removing the DACA program while allowing DACA recipients a six month grace period, and at the same time giving Congress a six-month suspense date, has righted an irrefutable procedural wrong in one of the most humane ways possible, while attempting to force action.
Now, Congress must do the job the Constitution entrusted them with.
If you believe DACA is a good program helping people who are contributors to this great nation, then direct your anger and frustration not at the executive branch, but at those responsible for “a uniform rule of naturalization.” Call your Congressional representatives and demand a bill be created before time runs out. Please see our resources below to assist you in doing so.
Once Congress creates a bill, inundate the White House with requests it be signed into law. If President Trump fails to sign a worthwhile proposal into law, then we can rightfully place the blame on him.