During an interview with Telemundo, President Trump broke news of a forthcoming executive order he plans on signing that would create a "road to citizenship" for DACA recipients. DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a policy put in place under the Obama administration in 2012 that defers deportation proceedings for certain illegal immigrants. President Trump has changed his stance on the program since first announcing his run for president in 2015.
"I'm going to be signing a major immigration bill as an executive order," Trump announced on Friday.
"One of the aspects of the bill is going to be DACA. We're going to have a road to citizenship," the president said.
Anchor Jose Diaz-Balart asked the president to clarify that the amnesty would be done through an executive order and not a congressional bill. The president and Republicans took issue when President Obama passed the DACA amnesty through executive branch memorandum.
"If you look at the Supreme Court ruling, they gave the president tremendous powers when they said that you can take in, in this case 700,000 or so people ... Based on the powers that they gave, I'm going to be doing an immigration bill," Trump vowed. "One of the aspects of the bill that you'll be very happy with and a lot of people will be, including me and a lot of Republicans, by the way, will be DACA. We'll give them a road to citizenship."
Conservatives were quick to criticize the president's plans.
There is ZERO constitutional authority for a President to create a “road to citizenship” by executive fiat.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 10, 2020
It was unconstitutional when Obama issued executive amnesty, and it would be a HUGE mistake if Trump tries to illegally expand amnesty. #TellTheSwampNO #RuleOfLaw https://t.co/RLWuCgcNU6
I hope he's speaking about Mexican citizenship. https://t.co/tblwBGi3aG— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) July 10, 2020
Trump’s getting all the wrong advice.— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) July 10, 2020
A road to citizenship for DACA people is going to lose him way more votes than he will gain.
This is an unmitigated disaster. https://t.co/ebHNdYTmcP
Before the 2016 presidential election, President Trump had repeatedly promised to terminate the DACA amnesty. But a month after winning office, Trump changed his tune, professing a willingness to work with Democrats to save the program. Trump previously sought to use the DACA amnesty as a bargaining chip to secure funding from Congress for the border wall.
Last month, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision to block the Trump administration from ending DACA. Trump characterized the ruling as one that "gives the President of the United States far more power than EVER anticipated." And Trump vowed to "only act in the best interests of the United States of America."
The DACA decision, while a highly political one, and seemingly not based on the law, gives the President of the United States far more power than EVER anticipated. Nevertheless, I will only act in the best interests of the United States of America!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 18, 2020
In the ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged the executive branch's power to terminate DACA but faulted the Trump administration for not following the proper procedure in its 2017 order to it.