(National Sentinel)Â Immigration: Department of Homeland Security chief John Kelly suggested to a group of lawmakers Wednesday that the Trump administration was not likely to defend in court an immigration policy enacted by President Barack Obama that allows millions of illegal aliens brought illegally to the U.S. by their parents to remain in the country.
AsÂ Lifezette reported, the so-called “Dreamers” policy, also known as theÂ Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, is being challenged by some states led by Texas. Kelly, in his discussions with lawmakers, hinted that the administration did not feel as though it could successfully defend the policy — which was a wholesale usurpation of existing immigration law by Obama — if challenged:
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly went up to Capitol Hill on Wednesday afternoon to address members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, telling them, according to reports, that although he personally supports the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, he canâ€™t promise that the administration will defend it …
Several members of Congress pressured Kelly in the meeting, and he responded by suggesting they work to pass a law.
Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, a Cuban-American and a Democrat, told reporters after the meeting: “It’s not a pretty picture.”
In 2012, after repeatedly claiming he did not have authority as president to do so, Obama signed a memorandum “that allowed people brought to the U.S.Â illegally as children to apply for two-year work permits, and to be granted a reprieve from deportation. Anyone under 30 years of age who came to the U.S. illegally before the age of 16 and before June of 2007 is eligible,”Â Lifezette noted.
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Critics called it an unconstitutional blanket amnesty which gave residency to about 750,000 people overnight, allowing them to live and work in the U.S. as though they were citizens.
After Obama signed the memo, there was a surge of illegal border crossings in 2014 and 2015, with hundreds of thousands of families crowding into New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.
“Logically, it really was the signal that if you get your kids here, we’ll let you stay,” Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform told the web site.
In late JuneÂ Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, along with nine other state attorneys general sent a letter to the Trump administration threatening to sue if the DACA policy was not rescinded.
During his campaign, Trump repeatedly said of people in the U.S. illegally, “They can’t stay.”
“Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation,” he said at one rally. At another rally he pledged: “We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties, in which he defied federal law and the Constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants.”
Following his inauguration, however, Trump softened his stance somewhat, noting that the issue was problematic and stating that most young people who qualify under DACA are good. Still, as others note, the policy is not likely to stand up in court because what Obama did was essentially rewrite the law, which presidents cannot do.
“The problem is, DACA is illegal,” Mark Kirikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies said last month.
Kelly rescinded the 2014 executive order that created the DAPA program in June, “saying that he saw no legal path forward for the program in the face of a lawsuit brought by Texas and the other states,”Â Lifezette reported.