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AG Derek Schmidt statement on presidential decision to withdraw Obama immigration decree

Release Date: Sep 05, 2017

TOPEKA – (September 5, 2017) – As a result of the Trump Administration’s announcement today that it has withdrawn the 2012 Obama-era memorandum that unilaterally created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said he intends to dismiss a pending lawsuit that successfully challenged the president’s authority to amend federal immigration policy without the approval of Congress.

After the Obama administration attempted in 2014 to expand DACA and create a second deferred-action program known as DAPA, Kansas and 25 other states filed a federal lawsuit challenging the President’s authority in the matter. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the president’s actions were “manifestly contrary to the statute” and sustained an injunction against the administration’s actions. In light of the federal court ruling, it was clear that the 2012 DACA program was similarly illegal, Schmidt said, and in June a group of state attorneys general notified the Trump Administration they would expand their legal challenge to include the 2012 DACA if it remained in place after today.

Earlier today, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security officially rescinded the 2012 program, and in response Schmidt said he will stipulate to dismissal of the pending lawsuit.

Schmidt issued the following statement:

“As unilaterally declared by President Obama, DACA always has been a cruel illusion. No president has authority to keep the promises the Obama administration made to the Dreamers; President Obama said so himself more than two dozen times.

“The Trump administration’s actions today return the issue to the only place constitutionally empowered to resolve it: The United States Congress. Congress has had more than five years to address this issue and has done nothing, but perhaps having a legal deadline, after which neither the president nor the courts will continue to turn a blind eye to unlawful executive actions, can motivate Congress to act.

“The obvious reality is our country is not going to round up and deport 800,000 people who in the past were brought here as children, grew up here, have committed no crimes, and now have relied in good faith on the Obama administration’s false but enticing promises. Congress needs to enact immigration law that humanely and responsibly fixes this problem once and for all. There is no substitute for addressing this matter through the lawmaking process the Constitution establishes.”

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