Part of President Donald Trump’s promise to enforce existing immigration laws was his decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that had been put in place via executive action by former President Barack Obama.
Of course, that move was summarily blocked by the courts, and now a federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to fully reinstate the program, according to The Daily Caller.
But Attorney General Jeff Sessions was none too pleased by that judge’s ruling, and issued a scathing statement that not only slammed the judge for his decision, but also ripped the courts more broadly for their increasing tendency to think they can essentially bypass Congress and legislate from the bench while exerting undue control over the policy decisions of the executive branch.
In his official statement released by the Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs, Sessions made clear that the administration “strongly disagree” with the ruling and vowed to appeal to a higher court.
“The executive branch’s authority to simply rescind a policy, established only by a letter from the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, is clearly established,” stated Sessions. “The Department of Justice will take every lawful measure to vindicate the Department of Homeland Security’s lawful rescission of DACA.”
“The last administration violated its duty to enforce our immigration laws by directing and implementing a categorical, multipronged non-enforcement immigration policy for a massive group of illegal aliens,” he continued.
Sessions noted how that “wrongful action” on the part of the Obama administration had left DACA open to the exact same legal challenges that had undermined and invalidated a companion program known as DAPA, or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, which was blocked and effectively killed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2015.
(A tie vote on that case at the Supreme Court in June 2016, while the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat was still vacant, left that that 5th Circuit ruling in place, The New York Times reported at the time.)
“These two policies declared by officials of the previous administration — by policy letters only — had been considered by Congress and rejected,” Sessions pointed out.
“The Trump Administration’s action to withdraw the policy letters simply reestablished the legal policies consistent with the law,” the attorney general stated. “Not only did the Trump Administration have the authority to withdraw this guidance letter, it had a duty to do so.”
Sessions proceeded to note how even former President Obama himself had repeatedly stated to the public on numerous occasions how policies such as DACA and DAPA were beyond the authority of the executive branch and within the realm of the legislature, even as he nevertheless ignored his own words of caution and implemented the policies regardless of their constitutionality.
“The judicial branch has no power to eviscerate the lawful directives of Congress — nor to enjoin the executive branch from enforcing such mandates,” Sessions reminded, prior to shredding the courts in general for their judicial activism.
“We have recently witnessed a number of decisions in which courts have improperly used judicial power to steer, enjoin, modify, and direct executive policy,” stated Sessions. “This ignores the wisdom of our Founders and transfers policy making questions from the constitutionally empowered and politically accountable branches to the judicial branch.
“It also improperly undermines this Administration’s ability to protect our nation, its borders, and its citizens,” he continued.
“The Trump Administration and this Department of Justice will continue to aggressively defend the executive branch’s lawful authority and duty to ensure a lawful system of immigration for our country,” the attorney general concluded.
The courts have indeed shown, time and time again, that they are more than willing to overstep their constitutional bounds and take actions that were designated for the other co-equal branches of the government — crafting laws by the legislature and implementing/enforcing them by the executive.
That unconstitutional tendency by liberal activist judges needs to stop immediately, but in the meantime, at least we know that the Sessions Justice Department will fight such overreach by federal judges in the court system, hopefully where they will ultimately prevail.
After all, they have the Constitution and the law on their side.
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