Another Democrat-appointed federal judge ruled on Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) violated federal law when it canceled the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty.
President Obama announced DACA in 2012. Janet Napolitano, DHS secretary at the time, wrote a memorandum, including criteria that would grant temporary relief from deportation for 800,000 illegal aliens. Then in 2015, the Obama administration introduced a larger program called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), granting indefinite legal status to four million illegal aliens.
Two dozen states sued the Obama administration, arguing that DAPA was illegal unless Congress does it by passing a law. A federal judge in Texas agreed, striking down DAPA. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit agreed that DAPA was illegal. Then, the Supreme Court tied 4-4 on the issue after Justice Antonin Scalia passed away.
Once President Donald Trump took office, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a legal opinion that the same reasons the federal courts struck down DAPA meant that the earlier DACA was also illegal.
Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke shut down DACA, relying upon Sessions’ analysis. When Kirstjen Nielsen took office, she stood firmly on Sessions’ analysis, declaring that her oath was to follow the Constitution and that DACA must end because it is unconstitutional.