It’s great for the Dreamers in the short term, but a long-term loser for the rule of law and for immigration reform: That’s the bottom line of the Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday on President Trump’s move to rescind his predecessor’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order.
Some 700,000 immigrants brought to America illegally by their parents, who registered under DACA, can heave a sigh of relief: They can continue working and living without fear of deportation. That was plainly Chief Justice John Roberts’ intent — but rulings are supposed to be about law, not desired results.
Roberts, joined by the court’s four liberals, makes much to-do about how Team Trump failed to jump through various procedural hoops before canceling President Barack Obama’s order — but those are hoops that Obama also didn’t jump through before issuing it.
Obama had tried and failed to get Congress to set up a program to protect such children (and other illegal immigrants as well). So he simply ignored the legislative branch and set up the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, letting immigrant kids apply for temporary status that not only shields them from deportation but grants legal rights to work, attend college and so on.
He’d previously noted time and again that he lacked the power to do that, saying that “laws on the books” already make “very clear” how to enforce the immigration system, and “for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.”
He went ahead with DACA anyway.
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