Trump Says Obama ‘Never Had The Legal Right’ To Implement DACA

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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President Donald Trump said Friday that former President Barack did not have the legal right to sign DACA, and lamented the fact that hasn’t been able to rescind it.

“The Immigration Law Institute’s Christopher Hajec says, ‘The Supreme Court has to look [at] whether DACA is lawful. What they are looking at now is whether Trump’s recision of DACA is lawful. Must consider lawfulness of DACA itself,” Trump tweeted Friday morning.

“Looks very odd that President Trump doesn’t….have the discretion to end the program that President Obama began in his discretion. That program was unlawful to begin with. I think it’s very unlikely that the SCOTUS is going to issue an order reinstating what it believes is an unlawful program. DACA Is unlawful,'” he added.

The president was quoting Christopher J. Hajec, the director of litigation for the Immigration Reform Law Institute. The IRLI is a legal organization that works to reduce immigration into the U.S., and it’s closely affiliated with the Federation for American Immigration Reform. 

“President Obama never had the legal right to sign DACA, and he indicated so at the time of signing. But In any event, how can he have the right to sign and I don’t have the right to ‘unsigned.’ Totally illegal document which would actually give the President new powers,” Trump continued.


Members of the press camp out in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on June 27, 2019. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

The tweets pertained to the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals. Then-President Barack Obama signed DACA in 2012, allowing hundreds of thousands of young undocumented aliens who entered the U.S. illegally as children to be safe from deportation. While it does not give recipients any permanent legal status, the executive order has allowed young illegal immigrants to legally work in the country and obtain driver’s licenses. (RELATED: The Supreme Court Just Made An Announcement About DACA)

Previously, Obama had suggested he did not have the authority to implement a policy such as DACA without input from Congress. Since he signed the order, Republicans have vehemently quested the legality of the move.

The Trump administration has since struggled in its attempt to strike down DACA. Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in 2017 that it was unconstitutional and the measure would be rescinded. However, a federal appeals court upheld a nationwide injunction against the move in November 2018, and now the fight heads to the Supreme Court.

The nation’s highest court has scheduled oral arguments for November 12, with a decision to follow sometime in 2020.

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