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Jeff Sessions says Trump admin will 'aggressively' oppose DACA as immigration fight continues

Law
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement that the Trump administration will fight against a federal judge's ruling that the administration didn't have the authority to eliminate DACA. (Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Trump administration will continue to fight for its authority to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, maintaining that the judicial branch doesn't have the rightful authority to block the executive branch from reversing the immigration program.

In his statement, Sessions argued that since the program was established by executive order, the executive branch should have the authority to end it.

"The executive branch's authority to simply rescind a policy, established only by a letter from the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, is clearly established," Sessions said in the statement. "The Department of Justice will take every lawful measure to vindicate the Department of Homeland Security's lawful rescission of DACA."

Background

U.S. District Judge John Bates issued a ruling on Friday saying that the Trump administration must restore DACA and allow for new applications beginning on Aug. 23.

In his ruling, Bates said the Trump administration has failed to provide adequate justification for rescinding DACA, despite having been given opportunities to elaborate on the initial memo.

"[The memo] fails to elaborate meaningfully on the agency's primary rationale for its decision: the judgment that the policy was unlawful and unconstitutional," Bates said.

Sessions' argument

Sessions argued in his statement that by rescinding DACA, the Trump administration is simply realigning policy to fit within the law.

"The last administration violated its duty to enforce our immigration laws by directing and implementing a categorical, multi-pronged non-enforcement immigration policy for a massive group of illegal aliens," Sessions said in the statement.

The Founding Fathers intended for policy-making issues like immigration to be in the hands of "politically accountable" branches of government, rather than the judicial branch, said Sessions.

"The Trump administration and this Department of Justice will continue to aggressively defend the executive branch's lawful authority and duty to ensure a lawful system of immigration for our country," Sessions said.

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