White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders fired back at a CNN reporter Tuesday after he suggested ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was putting lives at risk.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday the Trump administration will terminate the DACA program and allow Congress six months to replace the program with a legislative solution.
CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta asked Sanders at a White House news conference if the Trump administration is considering allowing Dreamers to stay in the U.S. in exchange for Democrats voting in favor of funding a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
“I don’t think that the president’s been shy about the fact that he wants a wall,” Sanders said. “(It’s) certainly something that he feels is an important part of a responsible immigration reform package.”
Acosta asked why Trump didn’t appear before reporters to discuss the decision.
“It’s his decision. These kids, their lives are on the line because of what he’s doing. Why not have him come out and make this call?” Acosta said.
Sanders responded that Trump decided to let Sessions handle the announcement given the decision involved the legislative branch and the legal process.
“It’s in large part a big part of the legal process. This was deemed illegal by … just about every legal expert you can find in the country, including many of Obama’s own attorneys,” Sanders said.
“Therefore it would be the Department of Justice to make a legal recommendation and that’s what they did,” she added.
Former President Barack Obama signed DACA, a program protecting roughly 800,000 children, into law in 2012 via an executive order.
Sessions said Tuesday morning the administration’s decision to rescind the program largely hinged upon the fact that it was unconstitutional.
“The executive branch, through DACA, deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions,” Sessions said. “Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch.”
“We cannot accept everyone who would like to come here. It’s just that simple,” he said.
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source: Western Journalism