House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) reacted to the announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that Barack Obama’s DACA program is to be rescinded. Ryan said on Tuesday, “However well-intentioned, President Obama’s DACA program was a clear abuse of executive authority, an attempt to create law out of thin air.” In a statement, Ryan added, “Just as the courts have already struck down similar Obama policy, this was never a viable long-term solution to this challenge.” The Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program was instituted by executive order by Obama in 2015 and allow approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants (most of whom are under 25 years of age) who entered as minors. Once they pass a background check, DACA beneficiaries receive work permits and other benefits.
Ryan insisted that Congress has the authority to write laws, “not the president.” While affirming that President Donald Trump had effectively fulfilled a campaign promise, Ryan said that DACA permits were not revoked immediately, thus allowing recipients to stay longer. Striking a conciliatory note, Ryan called on Congress to save DACA beneficiariesave recipients of DACA with a permanent legislative solution, asserting that they were blameless for being in the country illegally.
“At the heart of this issue are young people who came to this country through no fault of their own, and for many of them, it’s the only country they know,” he said. “Their status is one of many immigration issues, such as border security and interior enforcement, which Congress has failed to adequately address over the years.”
Last week, executives from corporations such as Microsoft, Facebook, General Motors, and Hewlett Packard, delivered a letter to Trump in support of DACA. They are poised to lose billions of dollars once DACA is rescinded.