Obama’s brief vacation from opining on national affairs has ended. He’s taken to Facebook to blast Trump’s decision on DACA. Heavily rhetorical and sloppy in its arguments, it’s worthy of a post on the Huffington Post or DailyKos. A couple of things:
–He again invokes the “if Congress doesn’t act” principle of unilateral presidential government. He says of the DREAM Act, “I asked Congress to send me such a bill. The bill never came. And…my administration acted.” This is not how our system works.
–He pretends all DACA did was “lift the shadow of deportation from these young people.” Actually, DACA conferred positive benefits that clearly made it a new legal dispensation for this subset of the illegal population.
–In this same vein, he says DACA relied on “the well-established legal principle of prosecutorial discretion.” He said the same thing about DAPA, which was blocked in the courts.
–Obama says “to target these young people is wrong.” But Trump isn’t “targeting” them. Everything indicates that he had sympathy for the so-called DREAMERs, which is why he hesitated for so long even though the legal case against DACA is obvious. He has given Congress ample time to act, and even if it doesn’t, the administration has made it clear that it won’t make this population an enforcement priority.
–He contends that Trump’s act “isn’t required legally.” Well, yes, maybe the administration could have — if the attorney general jettisoned his constitutional scruples — tried and failed to justify this extralegal amnesty in the courts, just as Obama did with DAPA.
–He writes, not meaning it as a compliment, “that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress.” That’s a very odd and hostile formulation for the White House expecting the nation’s legislative branch to write the nation’s immigration laws.
All in all, poor stuff. Back to the kite-surfing, Mr. Obama.