Former Alabama U.S. Senator and current U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Tuesday the “orderly wind down” of President Barack Obama‘s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, in six months. In which time, the government will stop processing new applications of the controversial program, which has permitted nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to receive work permits and deferral from deportation.
According to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, the six-month wind-down is meant to give Congress “time to deliver on appropriate legislative solutions.”
“However, I want to be clear that no new initial requests or associated applications filed after today will be acted on,” Duke said in a written statement.
Shortly after the announcement, members of the Alabama congressional delegation as well as state and local politicians began to weigh-in on the decision. Here’s what they had to say:
I agree with the decision from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Trump. The DACA program was unlawful and lacked any justifiable legal basis. It is the responsibility of Congress, not the President, to change our nation’s immigration laws.
The Obama Administration’s DACA program illegally circumvented Congress and was one of many instances in which President Obama blatantly abused his executive authority. President Trump and Attorney General Sessions are right to phase out this program and allow Congress to craft the appropriate policy in an orderly and constitutional manner.
Our immigration policies should discourage illegal entry – not reward it. In addressing this problem, we must also recognize and be sympathetic to the fact that these individuals were brought here as children and not of their own accord. This is just one of the many areas of immigration law that needs to be fixed, and I look forward to working with my Judiciary Committee colleagues to craft policies that restore the rule of law and promote America’s economic interests.
I applaud President Trump and Attorney General Sessions’ decision today to end the DACA program. Despite former President Obama’s reliance on executive orders to create unconstitutional immigrant amnesty programs, it is the Congress’ constitutional duty to write laws. Before considering any immigration reform, Congress should first pass legislation to fund the Border Wall. Only after securing the border, can Congress in good faith address immigration reform.
First, it is important to remember that DACA runs contrary to existing U.S. immigration law. It is the product of the Obama administration’s executive order where he, President Obama, disagreed with current law… I believe that before passing any legislation that deals with DACA, Congress must first address border control and stopping illegal crossings at will. For Congress to do nothing about securing the border would be a disservice to our nation. It would be foolish to deal with one problem, without first addressing the underlying cause, which is a lack of border security.
I am proud that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions agreed with me that the DACA program is ‘an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch. Only Congress has the authority to make U.S. immigration law.
The Trump Administration’s action is a victory for the Constitution and the rule of law and it restores Congress’s rightful role in overseeing U.S. immigration policy. Only the Legislative Branch of the Federal government can decide whether programs like DACA should become immigration law. That question is now back in the hands of Congress.