Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Yelitza Salgado, 17, an Albuquerque High School student, and others rally outside of campus Tuesday in Albuquerque, N.M., after walking out of class to protest the Trump’s administration’s decision to end Obama-era immigrant protections. President Donald Trump on Tuesday began dismantling the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, the government program protecting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children.

Long a ‘Dreamer’ critic, Sessions announces program’s demise

WASHINGTON — When President Donald Trump scrapped a program benefiting young people who entered the U.S. illegally as children, he left the announcement to the member of his Cabinet who had railed against it the longest and loudest.

It was Attorney General Jeff Sessions, rather than Trump, who stood behind a podium Tuesday and told a bank of television cameras that the program that shielded more than 800,000 young immigrants from deportation was “an unconstitutional exercise of authority” that must be revoked.

“Simply put, if we are to further our goal of strengthening the constitutional order and the rule of law in America, the Department of Justice cannot defend this type of overreach,” Sessions said, reading from prepared remarks during a briefing at the Justice Department where he refused to take reporters’ questions.

Trump made a campaign promise to end protections for the young immigrants protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which benefits youths whose parents brought them to the U.S. illegally as children or whose families overstayed visas. But as president, he has expressed sympathy for the participants, sometimes called “Dreamers,” and struggled with the decision. Trump notably chose not to be the face of Tuesday’s announcement. But Sessions, an immigration hardliner who had been urging the president to fulfil his campaign promise, seemed willing.

During last year’s presidential campaign, the two men bonded over their hawkish views on immigration, and Sessions became the first senator to endorse Trump. In taking to the podium himself, Sessions provided another reminder of his loyalty to Trump’s core agenda and to the president himself. It was a sign that tensions between the two are easing after a summer in which Trump publicly berated him in interviews and on social media, incensed over his decision to recuse himself from a probe into Russia’s meddling into the election.

As a senator, Sessions was a leading force against efforts to ease immigration restrictions. He relentlessly opposed comprehensive immigration reform in 2013, and fought against a 2010 bill that would have offered a path to citizenship to some young people living in the United States illegally.

“This bill would create an incentive for future illegality since Congress would be sending a message that we have effectively given up enforcement of our immigration laws and instead seek to reward those who enter the country illegally,” Sessions said of the bill at the time, warning that it would cost Americans jobs and “provide legal shelter for criminal aliens.”

Now at the head of the Justice Department, he has new power to shape America’s immigration policy. Sessions said the department had urged Trump to wind down the DACA program because its lawyers would not defend it against a threatened court challenge from Republican state officials.

Sessions made the announcement instead of Trump because “it was a legal decision, and that would fall to the attorney general,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

But it was clear Sessions’ opposition went beyond concern about a possible legal challenge. He called the Obama administration program an “open-ended circumvention of immigration laws” that had “contributed to a surge of unaccompanied minors on the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences” and cost Americans jobs. DACA supporters reject those claims.

Just Posted

Accused murderer’s story questioned

Jason Klaus spends day being cross-examined by lawyer for co-accused Joshua Frank

Red Deer Royals extend fundraising deadline for St. Joseph fieldhouse project

Fundraising chair says it’s a tough slog raising money in this economy

Red Deer seeks public input on coming changes to sign bylaw

A half-kilometre buffer zone could separate billboards in Red Deer under proposed… Continue reading

Innisfail man injured in home invasion

Police say the injury was non life-threatening

Credentials questioned man at Remembrance Day services

Veterans are crying foul after an alleged faker posed as a former… Continue reading

VIDEO: Red Deerians taste what the city has to offer

Red Deerians sampled some of the finest foods Central Alberta restaurants have… Continue reading

Volunteer with victim services in Red Deer

Learn more at info session on Nov. 27

Updated: Missing Sylvan Lake women found

Women were reported missing earlier this week

Liberals propose billions for affordable housing, including individual benefits

A Liberal government fond of promising help for those working hard to… Continue reading

Alberta Party sees growth in Central Alberta

Greg Clark addressed health care needs addressed in Red Deer

Ponoka council freezes Ponoka Fire Department spending

All discretionary spending frozen until full budget numbers are presented

WATCH: Ponoka’s Festival of Trees sees continued support

Three days of celebration and fundraising held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre

Creationist will speak at home-schooling convention in Red Deer

Ken Ham has debated Bill Nye on the Earth’s origins

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month