ICYMI: Republican AGs Hail President Trump's Decision to Restore Rule of Law to Immigration

WASHINGTON, DC - Several Republican Attorneys General released the following statements in response to the Trump Administration rescinding President Obama's overreaching the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program: 

RAGA Chairwoman and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

“I commend President Trump for rescinding the DACA program created by President Obama,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “While we are a compassionate country, the United States is a country of laws and President Trump recognized that President Obama’s DACA program went far beyond the executive branch’s legal authority. Congress has always been the proper place for this debate, and I am pleased that the President is granting Congress an additional six months to legislatively address this issue.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

“I applaud President Trump for phasing out DACA. As the Texas-led coalition explained in our June letter, the Obama-era program went far beyond the executive branch’s legitimate authority,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Had former President Obama’s unilateral order on DACA been left intact, it would have set a dangerous precedent by giving the executive branch sweeping authority to bypass Congress and change immigration laws. If ever there were a violation of the President’s duty to ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,’ DACA was it: President Obama unilaterally conferred lawful presence and work authorization, and then President Obama used that lawful-presence dispensation to unilaterally confer U.S. citizenship.”

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt

“As unilaterally declared by President Obama, DACA always has been a cruel illusion. No president has authority to keep the promises the Obama administration made to the Dreamers; President Obama said so himself more than two dozen times.

“The Trump administration’s actions today return the issue to the only place constitutionally empowered to resolve it: The United States Congress. Congress has had more than five years to address this issue and has done nothing, but perhaps having a legal deadline, after which neither the president nor the courts will continue to turn a blind eye to unlawful executive actions, can motivate Congress to act.

“The obvious reality is our country is not going to round up and deport 800,000 people who in the past were brought here as children, grew up here, have committed no crimes, and now have relied in good faith on the Obama administration’s false but enticing promises. Congress needs to enact immigration law that humanely and responsibly fixes this problem once and for all. There is no substitute for addressing this matter through the lawmaking process the Constitution establishes.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry

“I applaud President Trump for phasing out DACA,” said General Landry. “This executive amnesty was another example of the Obama Administration bypassing Congress to advance its radical agenda.”

“Nearly 40,000 DACA recipients have been given green cards and over 1,000 recipients have become U.S. citizens, despite the Obama administration’s initial pledge that the program would not confer such a path to citizenship,” explained General Landry. “What’s more: DACA allowed aliens to leave and re-enter our country; removed eligibility bars from Social Security, Medicare, and the Earned Income Tax Credit; and conferred eligibility for state benefits like driver’s licenses and unemployment insurance.”  

“As I have often said, the Executive Branch cannot simply sidestep the people’s elected representatives in the Legislative Branch,” concluded General Landry. “I am glad President Trump is defending the separation of powers, preserving the rule of law, and ending the unconstitutional DACA program.”

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson

"Today, Attorney General Sessions announced that the DACA Executive Order will be rescinded immediately and the program will be phased out over the next six months.  This is a very important step in protecting the rule of law and the separation of powers set forth in our Constitution.  Attorney General Sessions acknowledged today that his duty is to uphold our Constitution.  By allowing an executive order to exist, which improperly expands a law passed by Congress, would be a violation of the separation of powers. 

"The fundamental basis for my joining the letter asking for DACA to be rescinded was to prevent any president from unilaterally using executive orders to create laws.  The duty to address immigration issues properly belongs to the legislative branch. The compelling issues that surround the DACA matter must be debated on the floors of Congress.

"Today’s decision restored the proper balance of power by rescinding an executive order. There are currently bi-partisan bills before the House and Senate addressing this issue.  These are the proper forums to debate this difficult immigration issue."

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

“I applaud President Trump for having the courage of his convictions to uphold the rule of law and stop this Obama-era program. DACA was unconstitutional and represented an unlawful, unilateral action by the Obama administration,” Morrisey said. “Changes in law must be made through the legislative process. We will always stand up and defend the rule of law and our Constitution."

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