Back in 2012, President Barack Obama unveiled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, to help illegal aliens who were brought to the U.S. by their parents. His announcement protected those illegal aliens from deportation by ICE on the premise they did not cross into sovereign U.S. territory as adults willfully breaking the law.
DACA, however, was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2021, whose order froze the program from accepting new applicants after approximately 700,000 are in the program. That 77-page ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen found the program exceeded the federal powers of Obama and the Dept. of Homeland Security, which oversees it.
Even though a federal appeals court could uphold that decision in coming weeks, DHS announced in August it has issued a 453-page “final rule” effective October 31 to “preserve and fortify” DACA policy in the U.S. That same announcement from DHS even cites the 2021 federal court ruling but the federal agency insists it can grant DACA renewal requests because the injunction by Judge Hanen has been partially stayed.
The federal government’s appeal is awaiting a ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals but that decision is expected to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, says DHS created a whopping 453 pages of “bureaucratic regulations and rules” for a program that is likely unconstitutional and illegal.
“President Obama said on 22 occasions, before he created DACA back in 2012,” Mehlman says, “that he didn't have the constitutional authority.”
A fact-checking article about Obama and DACA admits the former president stated on numerous occasions federal laws prevented him from taking action, but Obama justified DACA by stating its purpose was to “prioritize enforcement” and to stop “chasing after these young men.”
In 2017, during the one-term Trump administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced DHS was ending the DACA program. That announcement was overturned in 2020 by a 5-4 ruling at the U.S. Supreme Court that said the Trump administration had failed to follow “procedural requirements” that require a “reasoned explanation” for such action.
According to Mehlman, the lawlessness behind Obama’s executive order represents a bigger problem for the rule of law in the United States.
“This is symbolic of a much larger problem here in the United States: We are moving away from a constitutional republic to dictatorship in four-year increments,” he insists, “either in executive orders or policy memos or regulations that completely contravene laws that were passed."