Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) had some words for President Donald Trump regarding illegal immigration.
After the president announced his intention to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Ryan voiced his disagreement with the president’s decision. According to The Hill, Ryan said, “I actually don’t think he should do that, and I believe that this is something Congress has to fix.”
DACA was implemented by former President Barack Obama in 2012. While Ryan doesn’t believe the president should end the program, he has also indicated that Obama did not have the legal authority to implement the program in the first place, “President Obama did not have the legislative authority to do what he did,” he said. He continued, “You can’t, as an executive, write law out of thin air.”
President Trump previously indicated that he did not intend to end DACA, but he has been under increasing pressure from Republican lawmakers and ten states to do away with the program. The ten states have threatened to take legal action against the program if Trump does not remove it by September 5.
So what is the Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals program? The initiative — which was created through an executive order issued by President Obama — protects the immigrants who entered the country illegally with their parents from deportation. Through the program, children of illegal immigrants can request “consideration of deferred action” for a two-year period. The deferred action is subject to renewal after two years.
According to Fox News, the deferred action allows the children of illegal immigrants to remain in the country, but it does not give them legal status. The program allows individuals to request DACA status if they were under the age of 13 on June 15, 2012, arrived in the U.S. before turning 16, and have lived continuously in the country since June 15, 2007.
Recipients of deferred action are also required to possess a high school diploma, GED certification, been honorably discharged from the military, or be currently attending school. It excludes people who have a criminal record.
If President Trump ends DACA, 800,000 undocumented youths could be affected. Their deferred action status will end after their work permits expire. It is not yet known whether or not these individuals will be targeted for deportation.
President Trump is considering undoing Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Do you support this?
Many have criticized the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals for a myriad of reasons. The United States is a sovereign nation — which means we have the right to control who is allowed to enter the country. The problem with illegal immigration was a result of our failure to enforce our immigration laws.
If we provide an “administrative amnesty” for certain illegal immigrants, it will send the message the people can illegally enter the country without fear of any consequences. The point of enforcing our laws is to encourage people to come to the United States legally — instead of subverting our legal system.
However, the main issue with the program was the way it was enacted. When Obama issued the executive order, he was exceeding the limits of his authority. The executive branch is not allowed to create laws — they are only empowered to implement them. It is the responsibility of Congress to pass legislation — not the president. If the president ends the program, it will give our lawmakers an opportunity to address the situation the right way.