Former Obama Lawyer Just Gave Away the Game on DACA

Naturally, the Left has responded to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the Trump Administration will phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), ex-President Barack Obama’s unilaterally-decreed amnesty for illegal immigrants brought to the United States as minors, by demagoguing the issue like crazy.

Cruel! Racist! Unnecessary! The only talking point they have so far that even vaguely resembles an argument is the claim that the law didn’t compel Donald Trump to make this decision, because DACA fell within Obama’s lawful powers as an exercise of prosecutorial discretion. However, that spin just got blown apart by one of the most inconvenient sources imaginable.

Twitchy noticed and compiled a long string of tweets from Eric Columbus, a lawyer who worked for the Obama team on immigration. The thread is worth a full read for tracing the history of the issue in a simple, concise fashion, as well as looking at how the issue may play out (that is, if you can get through the occasional lefty framing of amnesty).

However, the real interesting part came in the middle:

A court case against DACA would be “very likely to succeed”? Now why would that be? Maybe because the case against DACA’s constitutionality is the correct one, and deserves to succeed?

Of course, Columbus takes pains not to concede that, framing it as a simple prediction on how Justice Anthony Kennedy might break the 4-4 tie between conservative and liberal Supreme Court members. But that doesn’t work for two reasons: first, even if we pretend that a SCOTUS ruling against DACA might be wrong on the merits, the fact remains that it would constitute a loss for the feds as a practical matter, all but necessitating that the Trump Administration rescind the amnesty.

Second, and more importantly, we already know DACA is unconstitutional. National Review’s resident legal expert, former terrorism prosecutor Andy McCarthy, has explained that DACA was far more than an exercise of prosecutorial discretion — it didn’t merely direct immigration authorities to focus elsewhere; it unconstitutionally “exercise[d] legislative power by conferring positive legal benefits on a category of aliens,” including amnesty and work permits.

Prosecutorial discretion can justify picking and choosing individual cases of lawbreaking to not enforce when it’s truly impossible to handle every single case; it cannot justify needlessly declaring entire categories of lawbreaking or lawbreakers off-limits.

More importantly, an even more authoritative (to the Left) source agrees that the president had no power to unilaterally grant amnesty to any category of illegal immigrant — Barack Obama himself:

March 28, 2011: “With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive orders, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed – and I know that everybody here at Bell is studying hard, so you know that we’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws.”

The facts are clear and the verdict is in: of course DACA was unconstitutional. Sometimes — very, very rarely, but sometimes — liberals even admit it.