Federal courts ruled that former President Obama's 2014 attempt to grant de facto amnesty, without statutory authorization, to illegal alien parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders, and broaden the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program were unconstitutional. So why isn't President Obama's original DACA program, first implemented in 2012, just as unconstitutional?
The answer is because nobody challenged the original DACA program...until now, that is. Texas, which spearheaded the legal challenge to the 2014 executive amnesty programs is now demanding that the Trump administration terminate DACA by September 5, or face a lawsuit by Texas and nine other states. During his campaign, President Trump asserted that DACA was unconstitutional and vowed to end it if he became president. But, since becoming president, the number of people who are being protected by DACA has increased.
It's not just candidate-Trump and the ten state attorneys general who are threatening to sue who assert that DACA is unconstitutional. That opinion was affirmed on 22 occasions by President Obama himself before he went ahead and did it anyway.
The latest legal challenge led by Texas is significant because it could set legal precedence about the limits of executive authority to nullify immigration laws and substitute a president's policies in their place. In 2016, the Supreme Court upheld the lower courts' ruling on DAPA and DACA+, but it was not precedent setting because the eight-member court was evenly split. With the addition of a ninth justice, a ruling by the Supreme Court would prevent future presidents from claiming executive authority to grant de facto amnesty to entire classes of illegal aliens.
Dan Stein is the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.