Attorney General Jeff Sessions is vowing to pursue the end of DACA after a federal judge ruled last week the amnesty program must be reinstated in full. President Trump ended the program in September 2017 and called on Congress to come up with a fix.
"We strongly disagree with the district court’s decision on Friday in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) case. The executive branch’s authority to simply rescind a policy, established only by a letter from the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, is clearly established. The Department of Justice will take every lawful measure to vindicate the Department of Homeland Security’s lawful rescission of DACA," Sessions released in a statement Monday afternoon.
Sessions went on to make the case that the rescinding of DACA is consistent with federal law and that the previous administration was in violation when President Obama pushed through the program by executive order.
"The last administration violated its duty to enforce our immigration laws by directing and implementing a categorical, multipronged non-enforcement immigration policy for a massive group of illegal aliens. This wrongful action left DACA open to the same legal challenges that effectively invalidated another program they established—Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). DAPA’s implementation was blocked by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and never entered into effect. These two policies declared by officials of the previous administration—by policy letters only—had been considered by Congress and rejected, Sessions said. "The Trump Administration’s action to withdraw the policy letters simply reestablished the legal policies consistent with the law. Not only did the Trump Administration have the authority to withdraw this guidance letter, it had a duty to do so. As former President Obama previously said, the changes they attempted to effect through this policy letter can only be lawfully achieved by congressional action. The judicial branch has no power to eviscerate the lawful directives of Congress—nor to enjoin the executive branch from enforcing such mandates."
In the meantime, the U.S. government is required to continue processing DACA applications.
"We have recently witnessed a number of decisions in which courts have improperly used judicial power to steer, enjoin, modify, and direct executive policy. This ignores the wisdom of our Founders and transfers policy making questions from the constitutionally empowered and politically accountable branches to the judicial branch," Sessions said. "It also improperly undermines this Administration’s ability to protect our nation, its borders, and its citizens. The Trump Administration and this Department of Justice will continue to aggressively defend the executive branch's lawful authority and duty to ensure a lawful system of immigration for our country."