Discussion Points for Punto Legal- April 18, 2018
1. Who Killed DACA?
President Obama started DACA in 2012 via an Executive Order. Why did he start DACA? Because he was frustrated by the lack of progress on immigration issues in Congress. Campaigning for President in 2016, candidate Trump vowed to abolish DACA, since he claimed President Obama had the authority to enact such an order.
“We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” Trump said after he had been elected. “They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, and they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”
In September 2017, the Trump Administration abolished DACA, but gave Congress until March 5, 2018 to pass legislation to help the Dreamers.
In January 2018, President Trump held a meeting with Members of Congress regarding various immigration issues. Senator Feinstein (D-CA) asked the President “What about a clean DACA bill now, with a commitment that we go into a comprehensive immigration reform procedure?” President Trump replied as follows: “I would like to do that. Go ahead. I think a lot of people would like to see that, but I think we have to do DACA first.”
However, as time moved on, despite strong popular support for helping the Dreamers, Trump announced that his price for assisting the Dreamers would be a bill which would allocate $25 billion to build a border wall, funds to hire over 10,000 additional ICE and CBP officers, and support of a bill to cut legal immigration to the US by 50%. Each of these proposals were unacceptable to most Democrats and to a number of Republicans.
Prior to the March 5th DACA deadline, the Senate voted on four proposals to help the Dreamers. Trump’s proposal was the least popular of the four, failing by a vote of 39 to 60. A bipartisan effort to help the Dreamers was rejected by the President, and as a result, Congress threw in the towel, and the March 5th deadline was reached.
Fortunately for the Dreamers, two Federal Court injunctions currently prohibit the President from ending DACA.
President Trump declined to take responsibility for the failure of Congress to pass a bill to help the Dreamers. Instead, he tweeted “It’s March 5th and the Democrats are nowhere to be found on DACA. Gave them six months, they just don’t care. Where are they? We are ready to make a deal! Democrats are nowhere to be found on DACA.”
So who killed DACA? Is it true that the Democrats “don’t care”? Or did the President insist on conditions to a “deal” that he knew would be unacceptable?