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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

EDITORIAL: Trump on DACA: Do your job, Congress

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Thursday, September 07, 2017 12:01 am

Well, so much for Hoosier common sense. A lot of Indiana officials are joining the preening, posturing hordes dumping on President Trump for his perfectly proper decision to rescind DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

It was “a cruel and heartless blow to vulnerable young citizens who want nothing more than a chance at the American dream,” said Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. The Trump administration “appears to once again be moving away from a policy that seems fair, just and to be indicative of good business and good government,” said Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. “Upending existing protections for the nearly 10,000 young people in Indiana who have been living here for most of their lives isn't the path we should take,” said Indiana Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly.

You'd think Trump was whimsically ending a decades-long program that generations of illegal immigrant children had counted on. In fact, DACA isn't even a real federal program — i.e., one authorized by Congress. It was willed into being by President Obama's executive order a mere five years ago, after Congress failed to act on such a program.

And Obama made it clear DACA was not meant to last forever: “This is not amnesty, this is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It's not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people. It is the right thing to do.”

It may have seemed the “right” thing to do, but it was not the constitutional thing, as Obama himself surely realized when he noted DACA's lack of permanence.

Now comes President Trump to underscore that lack of permanence. It is indeed the right thing to do, and the constitutional thing.

He's not doing it right away. He's deferring DACA's end for six months to give Congress, which should be setting our immigration policy, the chance to do the right thing by acting one way or the other on the fate of these young people.

“Congress must seize this opportunity and pass a solution that modernizes our outdated immigration policies, finally secures our border and increases enforcement to reduce illegal immigration,” said Republican 3rd District U.S. Rep. Jim Banks.

Exactly so.

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