DACA Ball Is in Congress's Court

By John Miano on September 6, 2017

President Trump has followed through with his campaign promise to put and end to Caesar Obama's unlawful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As expected, the usual suspects are apoplectic.

My suggestion was that President Trump simply let DACA go through the courts where it would eventually die. Even Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein acknowledged DACA was on shaky legal ground.

Instead, the president has come up with an even better plan than my own. The president will end DACA, but he will give Congress six months to act. Immigration is Congress's job, so let them do their job.

Nonetheless, this is the same Congress that has thwarted President Trump at every opportunity. The Republicans were unable to repeal Obamacare, as they had promised their voters and had voted overwhelmingly to do when Obama was president (i.e., when their vote did not matter).

So now the DACA ball is in Congress's court. The Republican "leadership" says it is ready to work on a DACA replacement.

If the Republicans in Congress rush to enact a DACA replacement, it will clearly demonstrate to the party's base that it is the Republicans in Congress who are the problem in Washington. A DACA-style amnesty without a repeal of Obamacare would be a slap in the face to the Republican base.

The Republican Congress has two paths out of their mess. The first is to go back and enact the agenda that they promised their voters (e.g., Obamacare repeal and tax reform) — before addressing DACA. The second is to do some kind of large-scale immigration legislation that includes DACA-like provisions. Both paths would require the Republicans to unite like Democrats to pass legislation—something they were unable to do on Obamacare.

The White House press secretary summed up the problem: Congress needs to legislate. "If they can't, then they should get out of the way and let someone take their job who can actually get something done."