By the time Obama got around to immigration legislation, Republicans had retaken the House. After failing to act when he had the votes, in 2012 Obama announced he would implement Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an unlawful executive action to effectively legalize the presence of illegal immigrants who had arrived in the United States as children. The Post’s editorial board correctly called it an “unprecedented” move that “flies in the face of congressional intent,” adding that “Republicans’ failure to address immigration . . . does not justify Mr. Obama’s massive unilateral act.” Even “Saturday Night Live” skewered Obama’s executive action.
President Trump was right to reverse Obama’s unconstitutional decision. He had no choice. He also said at the time he supported letting DACA recipients stay, set a deadline of March 5 for a legislative solution and added that he would be willing to give Congress even more time if necessary. “Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA,” Trump tweeted on Sept. 5. “If they can’t, I will revisit the issue!”
In other words, there was no crisis for DACA recipients. This was, as Obama said when Republicans shut down the government in 2013, a “manufactured crisis” — one that Obama helped manufacture with his broken immigration promises.