President Trump made a number of contradictory statements regarding immigration on Tuesday. This included his surprising declaration that he’d “take the heat” from his conservative base for endorsing a bipartisan congressional deal to protect undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children (the so-called “dreamers”). Yet there’s no telling when Trump will change his mind, and coincidentally, a federal judge is nixing his opportunities for backtracking.
The applicable ruling orders the Trump administration to protect those same immigrants from deportation by resurrecting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. And to that effect, U.S. District Judge William Alsup of California has issued a temporary halt on all attempts to end DACA. Alsup described such maneuvers as “improper,” according to the New York Times, which hints that Trump may have eventually yielded to GOP pressure:
That decision has set off an intense political debate in Washington as Democrats and Republicans spar about how to provide relief for about 800,000 immigrants who could face deportation when the program ends on March 5. Mr. Trump met with lawmakers on Tuesday afternoon in a remarkable, hourlong televised meeting to begin negotiations.
But critics of the president’s decision to end the program, including several states and organizations, had already sued the administration, saying that shutting down the Obama-era program was arbitrary and done without following the proper legal procedures.
Indeed, the decision appears designed to guard against the inevitable Trump wavering, for the president has previously decided to end DACA based upon the assertion that Obama unconstitutionally implemented the program. Further, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a “crackdown” on any unaccompanied minors while calling them “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
While the federal court’s ruling is making waves right now, one can expect the Trump administration to appeal the decision. After all, Trump loves nothing more than a good knock-out, drag-down battle on the SCOTUS docket.