Paul Ryan changed his mind to align with Donald Trump over DACA

The House Speaker now supports a policy that he previously went on record as opposing

By Matthew Rozsa

Published September 6, 2017 12:27PM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)
(AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

In light of President Donald Trump announcing the impending repeal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, House Speaker Paul Ryan is walking back a statement he made last week urging Trump not to end the policy.

After claiming that President Barack Obama "overstepped" his constitutional authority when he implemented DACA, Ryan defended Trump's new policy on Tuesday by arguing that "President Trump was right in his decision. He made the right call."

Ryan added, "I'm also encouraged by the fact that he gave us time to work out a consensus, to find a compromise. Because these kids don't, for the most part, don't know any other home than the United States."

Ryan's position here contradicts the House Speaker's answer to a question posed last week about what he would do if Trump tried to repeal DACA. During an appearance on his hometown radio station WCLO in Janesville, Wisconsin, Ryan said that Congress was in the process of trying to address GOP concerns with Obama's policy from a legislative standpoint.

When confronted with the possibility that Trump would take the initiative, Ryan replied "I actually don't think he should do that. I believe that this is something that Congress has to fix."

Ryan also expressed dismay at the time for how he felt his predecessor had handled the issue, even as he promised to try to protect the so-called "Dreamers" — children of parents who immigrated illegally to the United States, and who are usually too young to know of any other home.

As Ryan explained, "President Obama does not have the authority to do what he did . . . we've made that very clear. Having said all of that, there are people who are in limbo. These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don't know another home. And so I really do believe there that there needs to be a legislative solution."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Daca Donald Trump Dreamers Paul Ryan