Trump Retreats from Immigration Hard Line, Continues Obama's Executive Amnesty

How many times have you heard the immigration hawks refer to Barack Obama’s “Executive Amnesty” with every ounce of derision that can possibly be mustered? Well that derision is going to have to find a new home, because President Trump has not only backed off of taking early action on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) to address those individuals who are already here and protected under the Obama administration policy, he is allowing new issuances to continue.


With no new Trump executive order on the program, the immigration focused base of voters who put him in office may feel as if they were betrayed by this shift, although they should have seen it coming as he’s been signaling it for months. What exactly happened? Well aside from not issuing an immediate executive order halting the amnesty per his many, many, many, many, many times repeated campaign promise to do that, Press Secretary Sean Spicer made a statement at today’s first real daily White House press briefing:

“First and foremost, the president’s been very, very clear that we need to direct agencies to focus on those who are in this country illegally and have a record – a criminal record or oppose a threat to the American people. That’s where the priorities are going to be and then we’re going to continue to work through the entire number of folks that are here illegally. But right now the clear focus is on that.”

It’s true, Trump has made that the focus of his immigration bluster recently, but his voters know what he promised. And they’re not happy. Witness Ann Coulter Twitter-bestie, amnesty opponent, and immigration hawk Mickey Kaus.


Here is a pretty good summary of how the President is allowing more amnesty to continue each day, from Politico:

Applications from so-called Dreamers seeking to renew their immigration status and work permits are being processed normally, despite President Donald Trump’s repeated claims that the program set up by President Barack Obama is illegal, a government spokesman said Monday.

A spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told POLITICO Monday that there was no immediate change to how the agency handles applications and renewals under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program Obama set up in 2012.

“We are still accepting/processing DACA requests under existing policy,” USCIS spokesman Steve Blando said Monday.

At Conservative Review, Daniel Horowitz (previously of RedState) makes things very plain, calling it a “colossal betrayal”:

The two biggest rallying cries against Obama’s imperial presidency in recent years have been: “repeal Obamacare” and “repeal Obama’s illegal executive amnesty.” Conservatives swore to ourselves that if we ever got back into the White House those two odious policies were as good as dead. As we’ve chronicled in this column, repeal of Obamacare is already on the ropes. If Obama’s amnesty is not repealed administratively in short order, it will represent a colossal betrayal of Trump’s basic campaign promise and set a terrible precedent for an imperial presidency.


At Hot Air, Jazz Shaw notes that Reince Priebus was asked about this on Fox News Sunday:

Chris Wallace: What — do you know what executive actions he’s going to sign tomorrow and this week? And specifically, and is he going to undo DACA, the Obama executive action to defer deportation for the 700,000 so-called DREAMers who were brought into this country illegally as children?

Reince Preibus: Well, on the last one, I think we’re going to work with House and Senate leadership as well to get a long-term solution on that issue, but —

WALLACE: So, you won’t undo DACA until —

PRIEBUS: I’m not going to make any commitments to you, but I’ve, you know, I’m obviously foreshadowed there a little bit. But I think this week, we’re going to talk about trade. I think we’re going to talk about that a little bit more tomorrow. I think we’re going to talk about immigration this week and we’re going to have a time of national security, a conversation about that, obviously, with General Mattis.

Both Horowitz and Shaw, to varying degrees, mention adopting a wait-and-see position overall on Trump and immigration. What else can one do? Of course you have to wait and see. But the truth is this is already a betrayal of what a large chunk of his voters sent him there to do, and it’s a betrayal that some of us warned over and over was going to happen.

So sure, wait and see. It’s only day four. Spicer says it’s not a “priority.” Things can change in the future. There are lots of immigration problems to be addressed and the administration may address them at some point.


But in the meantime, Obama’s executive amnesty continue uninterrupted, contrary to Trump’s campaign vows, with new applications processed daily. I believe in Washington, D.C., they call that “business as usual.”

In closing, here are a few more Twitter reactions so you can get a feel for how this is being received.


And my personal favorite:

I would have put something in here from Ann Coulter, but she hasn’t tweeted about it. Curious.



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