Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) today issued the following statement on a D.C. federal judge’s ruling ordering the Trump Administration to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was unilaterally created in a memorandum by the Obama Administration, and accept new applicants.
“For a federal judge to rule that the current administration cannot change a memo from the previous administration is absurd. The DACA program was unilaterally created by the Obama Administration in a memo penned by former Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano. Just as easily as it was issued, it can be rescinded – presidential policy is not set in stone and often changes from one administration to the next. Furthermore, this ruling is yet another example of the type of abuse one district court judge of limited territorial jurisdiction can engage in to prevent the implementation of federal policies nationwide.
“More importantly, however, I have long argued that the Obama Administration abused its executive power in creating DACA and other programs benefiting unlawful immigrants. In fact, a federal appeals court ruled that the DACA spin-off program, the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, is unlawful, so there is no basis for saying that DACA is lawful when similar programs have been overruled as unlawful. The Constitution clearly delegates the power to write our nation’s immigration laws to the Congress, not the President. Our nation’s immigration laws need to be improved, including a legislative solution for DACA beneficiaries, but the executive and judicial branches do not have the authority to rewrite the law.”
Additional Background: Earlier this year, Chairman Goodlatte, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), House Judiciary Committee Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), and House Homeland Security Committee Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) introduced the Securing America’s Future Act (H.R. 4760). This bill bolsters enforcement of existing immigration law, makes important reforms to our legal immigration programs, secures the border, and provides a legislative solution for the current beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.