Posted: 4:00 am Wednesday, December 28th, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
While some of the legislative agenda items of President-Elect Donald Trump will need the approval of Congress, many other issues that he championed in the 2016 campaign can be achieved with the stroke of a pen as soon as he takes office on January 20, 2017.
One of the most popular plans at campaign rallies for Mr. Trump was his vow to overturn President Obama’s executive actions that allowed several million people – in the United States illegally – to remain without the threat of being deported.
Known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability), these actions by Mr. Obama were never made law by the Congress – so they can be revoked with the stroke of a pen.
And that’s just fine with many Trump supporters:
Say bye-bye to DACA and DAPA. And kiss that pathway to citizenship goodbye immigrants b/c America elected Trump #Election2016
— Tina Maharath (@TinaMaharath) November 9, 2016
President Obama approved these executive actions on immigration on November 20, 2014 – while they won big praise from immigration groups and Democrats, they were denounced by Republicans, and challenged in court.
A federal court put the plans on hold – but that legal action won’t mean much once President Obama leaves office, as a President Trump will be able to do away with those programs immediately.
That obviously has some who are here in the U.S. under DACA and DAPA worried:
I fear that trump will get rid of DACA and DAPA as soon as he's in office 😦
— Live_ana (@Die_Anaah) November 10, 2016
trump is planning on revoking DACA and DAPA. I am allowed to go to college and work here under DACA.
— negative nancy (@keylinmalik) November 9, 2016
The details of what Mr. Trump will do have not been finalized, but it is a reminder that on his very first, he can accomplish a big chunk of his agenda, with just his signature, and there is nothing that Democrats can do to stop it.
There have been some immigration advocates who have called on President Obama to issue a blanket pardon for those “Dreamers” to be able to stay in the U.S. – but the legal review on that does not seem to give him the option of an ‘en masse’ pardon.
“The issue of pardoning someone is an individual decision that’s made on a case by case basis,” said U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
If there is no legal remedy available, then those people who have been spared from possible deportation would again be threatened with that in a Trump Administration.
Mr. Trump has been on both sides of this issue – it wasn’t but a few years ago that he embraced a group of Dreamers, and pushed for them to be allowed to stay in the U.S.
— cuscusmusic (@CucusMusic) December 16, 2016
Now though, the President-Elect has a chance to make a major impact on immigration policy, just by using his pen to do away with Obama Administration executive actions.
Starting January 20, Mr. Trump gets to leave his imprint on immigration policy.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.