Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday issued a rare statement condemning a policy decision of his successor, Donald Trump.
The rebuke comes after the Trump Administration announced it would phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an Obama-era program protecting from deportation nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors by their parents.
In a statement Tuesday, Trump accused Obama of ” making an end-run around Congress” by enacting DACA by executive order, as well as “violating the core tenets that sustain our Republic.”
“The legislative branch, not the executive branch, writes these laws – this is the bedrock of our Constitutional system, which I took a solemn oath to preserve, protect, and defend,” Trump said.
Obama countered later Tuesday, writing on Twitter that “to target hopeful young strivers who grew up here is wrong, because they’ve done nothing wrong.” He then linked to a lengthier statement on Facebook.
Read Obama’s full statement below:
“Immigration can be a controversial topic. We all want safe, secure borders and a dynamic economy, and people of goodwill can have legitimate disagreements about how to fix our immigration system so that everybody plays by the rules.
But that’s not what the action that the White House took today is about. This is about young people who grew up in America – kids who study in our schools, young adults who are starting careers, patriots who pledge allegiance to our flag. These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants. They may not know a country besides ours. They may not even know a language besides English. They often have no idea they’re undocumented until they apply for a job, or college, or a driver’s license.
Over the years, politicians of both parties have worked together to write legislation that would have told these young people – our young people – that if your parents brought you here as a child, if you’ve been here a certain number of years, and if you’re willing to go to college or serve in our military, then you’ll get a chance to stay and earn your citizenship. And for years while I was President, I asked Congress to send me such a bill.
That bill never came. And because…