Immigrant Jose Montes attends an event on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, DAPA, part of the immigration relief program, downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. The White House promised an appeal Tuesday after a federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration and gave a coalition of 26 states time to pursue a lawsuit aiming to permanently stop the orders. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Governing Is Hard. Trump Begins Caveating His DACA Position.

On the campaign trail Barack Obama repeatedly and emphatically stated that he would close GTMO. Barack Obama is now out of the White House and GTMO remains. On the campaign trail, Donald Trump repeatedly talked about ending DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that allows illegal aliens who came here as children to stay in the United States. Now that he is in office, however, Donald Trump is backing away from that promise.

While White House spokesman Sean Spicer, at his first press briefing, did not explicitly rule out action on the program known as DACA, his comments suggest that Trump’s initial policies will be similar to Obama’s. Spicer noted Trump has said his focus would be on immigrants in the country illegally who have a criminal record or pose a threat.

“That’s where the priority’s going to be, and then we’re going to continue to work through the entire number of folks that are here illegally,” he said.

DACA, created by Barack Obama in 2012, allows illegal aliens who came here as children to apply for a two year reprieve from deportation and they get a work permit. These illegal aliens, often referred to by the left as “Dreamers,” have grown up in the United States, know the United States as home, and often have never even been outside the United States once their parents brought them here.

Immigration hardliners want them all rounded up and deported. Donald Trump explicitly said he would round them all up and deport them. ““We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties, in which he defied federal law and the constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants,” Trump said this past August. Now? Not so much.

Governing and campaigning are not the same. It is easy to say something as a candidate, but understanding both the cost to government and real world implications as the Chief Executive Officer of the nation can be different.

The approach Trump is charting is the right one. Focus on those who have broken the law since they have been here and deport them. I would suggest it would also be wise to let federalism play out here. Let the states decide if DACA impacted kids should get access to instate benefits, etc.

Immigration hardliners will be angry about this, but I personally think it is the humane thing to do. The vast majority of these kids have only known the United States as home. If Trump secures the border and prevents more from coming, I suspect we will be able to have a better, more charitable conversation, about what to do with those who remain here.

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Erick Erickson

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