Thomas Gallatin / April 25, 2018

Judge: It’s Illegal for Trump to End (Illegal) DACA

According to the judge, it’s illegal for an executive to rescind an illegal executive order.

A U.S. district judge ruled on Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s decision to end the DACA program was “unlawful.” U.S. District Judge John Bates, appointed by George W. Bush, declared that the decision to phase out the controversial program “was arbitrary and capricious because the Department [of Homeland Security] failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.” He added, “Each day that the agency delays is a day that aliens who might otherwise be eligible for initial grants of DACA benefits are exposed to removal because of an unlawful agency action.” Bates ordered not only that the DACA program continue operating but that it be opened up again to receive new applicants. However, he did give the Trump administration 90 days to explain how ending the program was legal.

This ruling is utterly outrageous.

Bates essentially ordered the Trump administration to continue implementing an illegal program, in fact declaring that any attempt to end it is illegal. So what exactly is the point of laws? Recall that it was Barack Obama who circumvented Congress via executive order to implement his DACA program — a move he had previously and repeatedly (and rightly) insisted was unconstitutional and therefore illegal. Obama’s similar attempt to implement Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) was blocked by the courts. Why? Because it circumvented Congress’s authority and responsibility. Almost comically, Bates effectively ruled that Trump doesn’t have the executive authority to rescind an illegal executive order. It’s not the Trump administration that should explain its position; it’s this judge.

Justice Department spokesman Devin O'Malley responded to the ruling, stating, “Today’s order doesn’t change the Department of Justice’s position on the facts: DACA was implemented unilaterally after Congress declined to extend benefits to this same group of illegal aliens. The Justice Department will continue to vigorously defend this position.”

It has become quite apparent that the U.S. Supreme Court will need to make a ruling on this issue, and the sooner the better. Sadly, it is also apparent that too many judges are guided by the rule of men instead of the Rule of Law.

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