Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, a hawkish conservative on immigration, warned President Trump that he could face a lawsuit over the administration’s unwillingness to cancel an Obama-era program that provides relief from deportation for certain young, undocumented immigrants.
Under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), qualifying undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. with their families at a young age can be granted protection from deportation and be eligible for a work permit. They are often referred to as Dreamers.
King expressed frustration about Trump’s refusal to cancel the program despite repeated campaign promises to do so, arguing that “defenders of the Constitution” may need to sue Trump to block the implementation of the program.
“That’s what it looks like right now and that’s disappointing to me,” he told The Caller.
“It is impossible to return the respect of the rule of law in regards with immigration [with DACA on the books].”
Trump’s conservative base has long shared frustration over his apparent leniency to Dreamers — applications are still being processed as part of the program.
There have been several reports of DACA recipients being detained by immigration agents, including news this week that a Dreamer had been deported. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has said that DACA recipients are not guaranteed protection from deportation, but that they are not a priority.
Past legal action against DACA has had mixed results. While a deadlocked Supreme Court blocked the expansion of the program to allow parents of these undocumented immigrants protections, court challenges to the original DACA policy were unsuccessful.