Most conservatives considered former-President Obama’s unilateral decision to allow the children of illegal immigrants to legally live and work in the United States to be a violation of separation of powers and U.S. law.
But when even uber-liberal Senator Dianne Feinstein admits that DACA is on “shaky legal ground,” that’s a whole other level of confirmation, if unintended, of President Trump’s decision to end the program.
Appearing with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Tuesday, the California senator was asked about DACA’s underlying legality, and it was obvious from the start that it was a question she didn’t want to answer.
“DACA was executive order,” Feinstein said. “Legal is the law of passage of something. I — you know, there are ten attorneys general that are prepared to sue. I don’t want to get into that. The point is, DACA is here. And we’ve got 800,000 young people –.”
Then Todd pressed Feinstein by saying, “Your answer indicates, though, that it’s on shaky legal ground.”
Feinstein admitted: “It is. That’s why we need to pass a law, and we should do it.”
Watch the clip below:
In a Tuesday Facebook post, Obama explains his rationale for instituting the program:
Over the years, politicians of both parties have worked together to write legislation that would have told these young people – our young people – that if your parents brought you here as a child, if you’ve been here a certain number of years, and if you’re willing to go to college or serve in our military, then you’ll get a chance to stay and earn your citizenship. And for years while I was President, I asked Congress to send me such a bill.
That bill never came. And because it made no sense to expel talented, driven, patriotic young people from the only country they know solely because of the actions of their parents, my administration acted to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people, so that they could continue to contribute to our communities and our country. We did so based on the well-established legal principle of prosecutorial discretion, deployed by Democratic and Republican presidents alike, because our immigration enforcement agencies have limited resources, and it makes sense to focus those resources on those who come illegally to this country to do us harm. Deportations of criminals went up. Some 800,000 young people stepped forward, met rigorous requirements, and went through background checks. And America grew stronger as a result.
Except, “prosecutorial discretion” in this instance is a tremendous, illegal leap.
The Immigration Reform Law Institute’s Dale Wilcox explains the four main reasons why DACA is illegal in this Daily Caller piece, but here’s his explanation as it relates to Obama’s ‘logic,’ or lack thereof:
“Prosecutorial discretion,” insofar as it is permitted by federal immigration law, is by definition the exercise of discretion not to remove; it is not the conferral of a benefit such as work-permit.
To the limited extent that any “prosecutorial discretion” is permitted by federal immigration law, such discretion is closely detailed in the immigration statute and its underlying regulations. For instance, based an illegal alien’s “extreme hardship”, ICE can seek the cancellation or withholding of a removal. There’s also Temporary Protected Status, Humanitarian Parole, or asylum, all which are granted based on a number of factors that have been set in statute for years.
The exercise of “prosecutorial discretion” does not permit any DHS employee or officer to grant unlawfully present aliens amnesty and work-permit benefits in the manner attempted by the DACA Directive. No doubt most anti-borders advocates know this by the simple fact that if such executive authority had always existed it would have been used before.