Despite a federal judge’s recent decision that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) must be fully restored, Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to press forward with the Trump Administration’s efforts to rescind the program.
Last Friday, Judge John Bates ruled that President Trump’s administration failed to provide justification for ending DACA — the Obama-era program which allows illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to remain in the country without fear of deportation.
“Not only did the Trump Administration have the authority to withdraw this guidance letter, it had a duty to do so,” Sessions, in a statement Monday, said — referring to DACA when mentioning “this guidance letter.”
Sessions argued that Judge Bates stepped over the line in his ruling, pointing out that the judicial branch should not attempt to make policy.
“The judicial branch has no power to eviscerate the lawful directives of Congress—nor to enjoin the executive branch from enforcing such mandates,” Sessions explained, via The Hill. “We have recently witnessed a number of decisions in which courts have improperly used judicial power to steer, enjoin, modify, and direct executive policy.”
Judge Bates stated in his opinion that he is delaying his ruling to give the Trump Administration twenty days “to determine whether it intends to appeal the Court’s decision and, if so, to seek a stay pending appeal.”
He is the third federal judge to reject the President’s explanation for ending DACA.
The Trump administration first moved to end the program last September, initially giving lawmakers a since-expired six month deadline to come up with a permanent fix. Congress has not reached a consensus on the issue, and President Trump has consistently blamed Democrats for the lack of both a deal on the program and comprehensive immigration reform.
Sessions has been at the forefront of the president’s crackdown on immigration, most notably when he rolled out a “zero tolerance” policy earlier this year that led to the separation of thousands of migrant children from their parents.