What’s winter break without seeing how long you can physically stay in bed before your body morphs into the mattress, eating 20 more Christmas cookies than you’re willing to admit and a host of arbitrary, asinine decisions by the man who runs our country?
It’s safe to say, thus far, 2018 has not been President Donald Trump’s finest, with a cancelled trip to the United Kingdom because the Brits really, really don’t want him in their country and his infamous “shithole countries” comment spurring another round of redundant but necessary questioning of Trump’s blatantly racist agenda.
Trickling over from 2017 is Trump’s fight with the Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival. In September, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Trump’s plan to terminate DACA by March 2018, citing the program’s illegal circumvention of immigration law as the impetus behind the decision. In accordance with this decision, gutting DACA would leave as many as 800,000 recipients, known as Dreamers, without legal protection and subject to deportation.
Met with staunch backlash from Democrats nationwide who lamented the cruel, cold-hearted and unnecessary decision, Trump’s repeal has recently met a more tangible roadblock in the form of a temporary block issued by U.S. District Judge William Alsup. Alsup’s ruling requires the Trump administration to resume allowing Dreamers to renew their legal protections against deportation and work permits under DACA.
This ruling comes in the midst of negotiations in Congress regarding a potential compromise on immigration and solution to the DACA conundrum. Led by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, the immigration framework appears to be a left of center package that would, among other things, allow for individuals who fall under the current framework of DACA to obtain legal status and green cards.
Trump has already declared any DACA deal “dead,” instead lobbying the Supreme Court itself for some respite in the fight to end DACA and stop the alleged flow of dangerous illegal immigrants across the southern border. The Department of Justice filed a notice of appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in hopes of overturning Alsup’s ruling barring the administration from decimating DACA. Additionally, Trump has revealed his plan to appeal directly to the Supreme Court, looking to bypass completely the Ninth Circuit.
“It defies both law and common sense that a single district court in San Francisco could halt the administration’s plans,” Sessions said.
There are many disturbing facets of the Trump administration’s war on immigration and on the DACA program specifically. Targeting a group of men and women who came to the country as children, many of whom have known no other home than America is arbitrary and a waste of valuable government resources.
One cannot hold children accountable for the supposed sins of their parents, in this case the sin being illegal immigration to a country that touts itself as a haven for the poor, the weak, those who wish to start over and have the chance at a better life. It is inhumane that 800,000 people have been suspended in a perverse limbo for the past six months, fearing deportation, separation from their families, friends, the lives they have built in their communities.
UW joins with other universities voicing support for DACAChancellor Rebecca Blank announced the University of Wisconsin’s continued support for undocumented students in a tweet Monday afternoon. Blank, along Read…
However, equally as disturbing is the Trump administration’s disregard for the basic set of checks and balances endowed on our government to dispel the threat of tyranny by one branch. The Supreme Court, as designed, is not a political entity. Charged with interpreting the Constitution and determining the legality and constitutionality of laws passed by Congress, the Supreme Court certainly should not be used by the president as a vehicle to push his agenda.
Moreover, the Supreme Court most definitely should not be used as a desperate last ploy to protect faulty legislative decisions from rulings made in the judicial system simply because they make the administration look as impotent as it really is. The Supreme Court does not bow to the executive branch, nor does it have the responsibility to protect it. Trump’s cry for help to the nine justices will hopefully be met with deaf ears.
For the first time in what seems like my entire lifetime, Congress is working towards a bipartisan compromise on an issue that never fails to divide the country. While no legislation is perfect, this is a step in the right direction for the entire federal government, especially the Trump administration, as recent partisan disasters in healthcare and taxes revealed an unapologetically difficult Republican party unable or unwilling to work across the aisle.
By publicly and preemptively condemning the compromise, instead opting for assuming the much overused position at the bully pulpit, Trump encroaches on the legislative branch’s powers and once again renders his government incapable of passing real, meaningful legislation.
Aly Niehans ([email protected]) is a sophomore majoring in political science and intending to major in journalism.