A Constitutional Question

Attorney General Jeff Sessions unveiled a policy this morning on "DACA" that is far, far gentler than I expected. The administration really is going to continue "deferring action" (the "DA" of "DACA") for six months, even issuing new two-year work permits to those whose existing permits expire in that period. I figured they'd hand off the 800,000 names to ICE this morning and tell them to go round them up, but Sessions says that won't happen: nobody will be passed to immigration enforcement unless they individually are deemed to pose a national security threat.

The administration is quite right that the previous administration simply decided to ignore the law for its own reasons, thus effectively creating new executive "law" that violated existing laws passed in accordance with the Constitution. They are likely also correct that the courts would have overturned the practice eventually, although perhaps not: it would hardly be the first time the SCOTUS has made room for an obviously unconstitutional action recently (e.g., the Obamacare rewrite). The conceit that the NRO writers describe is bipartisan, and exists in the judiciary as well.

No credit will be forthcoming, but the Trump administration has chosen to correct a clear Constitutional violation in a very humane and patient way. Congress now has the opportunity to perform its actual role as legislature, but of course it has had that "opportunity" all along. It has neglected to do so because it liked the violation of its laws just fine, again on a bipartisan basis. Now, then, they'll have to rush to pass a law that enacts the bipartisan consensus that they really believe in.

That should be easy for them to do, although for Republicans in Congress it means admitting to another massive lie. They never intended to repeal Obamacare; and they never opposed massive illegal immigration, which enriches their donors by driving down the cost of American labor.

Mass immigration, and especially illegal immigration, also undermines labor unions; you'd have thought the Democratic party would care about that, but they have decided they have more to gain from demographic change than from organized labor. The only defender of American unions left on the scene is, well, Canada. Everyone else is on board with the policy that the Trump administration is supposedly "unraveling" this morning.

1 comment:

Christopher B said...

Mark Hemingway (via Instapundit) notes that if the GOP can 'fix' DACA but not Obamacare ... I'd want be long pitchforks, torches, tar, and feathers.