In a San Francisco court, Judge William Alsup ruled that the president does not have the legal authority to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and that, temporarily, those who failed to reapply would be allowed to do so.
The judge stressed that the program must remain in place and function all through the litigation process on the basis that the Department of Homeland Security’s “decision to rescind DACA was based on a flawed legal premise.”
President Trump, fresh off the heels of a meeting with two dozen lawmakers on DACA and immigration reform was clearer than ever, saying: “As I made very clear today, our country needs the security of the Wall on the Southern Border, which must be part of any DACA approval.”
Those responsible for bringing the case to court include AGs from California, Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota. California’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, said of the ruling that this “is a huge step in the right direction.” He continued:
“America is and has been home to Dreamers who courageously came forward, applied for DACA and did everything the federal government asked of them,” he said. “They followed DACA’s rules, they succeeded in school, at work and in business, and they have contributed in building a better America.”
Behind the Curtain
With DACA being at the forefront of the popular press and the president working with bi-partisan groups to come up with a satisfactory deal, it is being suggested that the lawsuit is simply just a method of putting pressure on the negotiations. The president’s hand in the DACA deal is a strong one; he can, and will likely, include a range of measures including reform on border funding, visa lottery, and chain migration, but has this case weakened his position?
In fact, although it is being sold as a major victory against the Trump administration, the ruling really only means that those who forgot (or neglected) to refile their DACA paperwork will have the option to do so. It is a purely administrative victory. But what it DOES do, is plant the idea in the minds of voters that “Trump has been DEFEATED on DACA.” And this is a perception victory for the left.
The war for immigration reform is being fought on a multitude of fronts and battlefields. There will be more court cases that seek to “restrain” efforts to tie one facet of immigration in with another. There is a leftist media battle that seeks to portray the “Dreamers” as the cream of the American crop. And, of course, there is the fight within the government.
The Democrats want and have asked for, a standalone bill that protects DACA recipients without addressing the other aspects of immigration. The president wants a complete package that protects not only “Dreamers” but all Americans through a comprehensive reform of how the nation deals with immigration.
But the real battle is that of perception. Who will come out on top with their reputations intact? Who will be the “Victor” that has stood up to the other side? And most importantly, the winners will be able to speak to the American people and say “We are the true strength in this nation.”