Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that the Trump administration would be ending DACA, the program that allows some undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children limited legal status in the United States.
Even before today's announcement, many Republican lawmakers had said that President Donald Trump's decision made little to no sense. Following today's press conference, the scorn from the president's own party, as well as traditionally Republican-leaning interest groups, was unavoidable.
Arizona Sen. John McCain — not exactly a Trump fan to begin with — called the announcement "the wrong approach to immigration policy."
"I strongly believe that children who were illegally brought into this country through no fault of their own should not be forced to return to a country they do not know," the senator said in a statement.
The Chamber of Commerce — a staunch Republican support group — blasted the decision Tuesday, saying the measure, which would effectively kick hundreds of thousands of people out of the workforce, "runs contrary to the president's goal of growing the U.S. economy."
The original DACA program announced in 2012 was premised on sound public policy, and unlike DAPA, it was not challenged in court. Individuals enrolled in good faith and became ingrained in our communities and the nation's economy. To reverse course now and deport these individuals is contrary to fundamental American principles and the best interests of our country.
A damaging report from The New York Times indicates that the president may not grasp the full ramifications of what his policy decision meant:
As late as one hour before the decision was to be announced, administration officials privately expressed concern that Mr. Trump might not fully grasp the details of the steps he was about to take, and when he discovered their full impact, would change his mind, according to a person familiar with their thinking who spoke on condition of anonymity without authorization to comment on it.
Many are speculating that Session's hope that the "House and Senate, with the president's leadership, will be able to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution" is an attempt to punt the funding and the creation of the logistical and legal framework required for the dissolution of DACA and the entailed expulsion of an estimated 800,000 individuals to Congress. This could be an attempt not only to take the hard work the decision demands off the president's desk, but to absolve him of any blowback.