WH: Sessions Announced End Of DACA Because It’s A ‘Legal’ Issue

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders departs after a press briefing at the White House, Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP

Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement that the White House will rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program instead of the President because it’s a legal issue, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Tuesday.

“It’s in large part a big part of the legal process. This was deemed illegal by, I think, just about every legal expert that you can find in the country, including many of (former President Barack) Obama’s own attorneys said that this was not (a) lawful program,” she said at a press briefing. “And therefore, it would be the Department of Justice to make a legal recommendation and that’s what they did.”

Sessions announced Tuesday morning that the administration would end the DACA program in six months in order to give Congress time to come up with a legislative solution for the immigration issue.

The White House said it made the decision this week because several states threatened to sue President Donald Trump if he didn’t make moves to end the program by Tuesday.

The DACA program was introduced through executive order by Obama in 2012 and is designed to protect undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from deportation.

When asked again why Trump didn’t make the announcement himself — since he was so vocal about ending the program, but treating DACA recipients “with heart” — Sanders said the President has already “spoken about this numerous times in the past” and gave a near-identical response the second time.

“This was a legal issue because there was a court decision that had to be made with a timeline not placed— that the administration created, but a timeline that was created by the attorney generals in those states that were forcing this issue and this decision (was) to take place by today,” she said. “It was a legal decision and that would fall to the attorney general, and that’s why he would be the one making the announcement.” 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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