The DACA Pawn Job.
President Trump is expected to announce that he will terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program effective six months from now. DACA provides limited protection from deportation for undocumented people who entered the country as children. While ineligible for Federal welfare assistance, or even student loans, many DACA beneficiaries are employed and pay income taxes providing a net benefit to the government. While the most conservative and anti-immigrant elements of the Republican Party oppose DACA, many Republicans do support it. It also has strong support in the business community.
During the campaign Trump claimed DACA was unconstitutional as an executive order (he claimed Congress would have to make this policy) and he promised to end it “immediately” upon becoming President. Instead he decided to keep the program going while he studied the matter (guess he didn’t study it before mouthing off in his campaign). After further review, he has decided to end it in six months.
This leads to an obvious question. If Trump believes it is really unconstitutional, how can he wait six months to end it (after waiting 8 months since assuming office already)?
The simple answer is Trump is not anymore concerned with the Constitution regarding this than he is with other issues. The six month delay is to get Congress to act. Trump will urge Congress to within those six months include elements of DACA in broader immigration reform.
Broader in what way? In the ways Trump wants of course. In particular this all comes down to Trump’s favorite foolish boondoggle, “The Wall.” Mexico won’t pay for it, so Trump wants Congress to appropriate money for it, something Congress has shown some reticence to do. This all comes down to leverage against Congress. Trump wants Congress to give him money for the wall, and he will give Congress DACA. If Congress drafts immigration reform including DACA, but not wall funding, Trump will veto it.
Ultimately DACA, and the people it impacts, are just pawns for Trump’s wall.