December 13, 2017
IRLI brief explains how DACA is illegal and no court can enforce it
WASHINGTON – The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in federal district court in Washington, DC, defending President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Princeton University, citing its financial investment in some students who are DACA beneficiaries, is suing the Trump administration for winding down the program the Obama administration started.
IRLI argues in its brief that, from the beginning, DACA was an invalid rule that had no authorization from Congress; instead, it was a bold-faced refusal by then-President Obama to enforce our immigration laws. The prior administration simply substituted its judgment for Congress’s, IRLI argues, and decided for itself that a class of illegal aliens that Congress had slated for removal should be able to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation.
“DACA is a substantive rule, a piece of executive lawmaking,” said Christopher Hajec, IRLI’s director of litigation. “For that reason it fundamentally undermines the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution. In no way is DACA just prosecutorial discretion,” Hajec added. “The memo creating it gave ICE agents no discretion in implementing it, and the agency also gave DACA recipients work authorization.”
“It’s flatly against Congress’s intent that illegal aliens be allowed to work in the United States,” observed Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s executive director and general counsel. “Laws barring illegal aliens from working are there to protect American workers, and also to give even illegal aliens who are low priorities for removal an incentive to leave on their own. Even Obama said over and over that he didn’t have the power to help the so-called dreamers,” Wilcox added. “Then under political pressure he decided he did have the power, but he was wrong. President Trump had to end this unconstitutional power grab, and the court can’t block him without giving effect to a program that was illegal in the first place.”
The case is Trustees of Princeton University v. United States, No. 17-cv-2325-CRC (District of D.C.).
For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • [email protected]
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