Pro/Con: DACA

President Trump's announcement that he'll end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative within six months has triggered a passionate national debate about the program and what should happen next.

DACA is an immigration policy initiated by the Obama administration in June 2012 that allows some people who entered the country illegally as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.

While a six-month phase out has been ordered by Trump, the political conversation has ratcheted up without hesitation. Here's a look at both sides of the matter, with links to the sources posted online.


Supporters say it's constitutional.


While DACA's constitutionality hasn't been determined by the courts, according to the fact-check website PolitiFacts , supporters say it's constitutional as an executive action. "'Millions of people have benefitted from, and relied on, the DACA program over the past five years," according to a legal filing in federal court. "Given that all of those people have interests that have deepened over the years, the government has to have a stronger reason than it has given before it can constitutionally end the program and wipe out those interests."

PolitiFact says, "While there is debate on the constitutionality of DACA, that has not been determined by courts."

Eliminating DACA is targeting the wrong problem.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD) summed it up this way : "Today's announcement makes one thing very clear — Congress has to act ... However, focusing immigration efforts on children and young people, many of whom have never known another home and came to this country by no fault of their own, should not be where enforcement efforts are concentrated. Instead of targeting innocent kids, we should be targeting criminals."

People protected under DACA are contributing to the American economy and society.

"They're our friends, coworkers, and neighbors, and they make enormous contributions to the economies of Minnesota and the entire country," Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) told MPR News, "The decision by President Trump to end DACA is a disgrace to our moral values and principles. It's not who we are or should be as a nation."

Keeping DACA is about keeping a promise.

(Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson) said the "government's rescission of DACA violates the promises made to these young people — 97 percent of whom are in school or in the workforce — who have relied on the law to make important decisions about their lives," according to MPR News.



It's unconstitutional and was an abuse of executive power by President Obama.

"However well-intentioned, President Obama's DACA program was a clear abuse of executive authority, an attempt to create law out of thin air," (House Speaker Paul) Ryan said in a statement following the DACA announcement made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week. "Congress writes laws, not the president, and ending this program fulfills a promise that President Trump made to restore the proper role of the executive and legislative branches."

DACA has encouraged illegal immigration.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said this in his statement on DACA: "President Obama's refusal to enforce our immigration laws and decision to unilaterally create immigration programs encouraged more illegal immigration and contributed to the surge of unaccompanied minors and families seeking to enter the U.S. illegally."

Ending DACA is about presidential leadership.

"'This is one of the best examples of real leadership that we've seen from President Trump," (former House Speaker Newt) Gingrich said on "Fox & Friends."

It's about keeping a campaign promise.


Conservative pundit Ann Coulter suggested the Trump administration should not be concerned with placating DACA recipients, according to Newsweek. "Trump's landmark, election-winning immigration speech, 8/31/16: ENFORCEMENT 1ST! We can't even discuss amnesty until we have a wall!"

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