Trump Calls DACA "Totally Illegal," Expresses Hope for a Deal

Evan Vucci/AP

Evan Vucci/AP


We ran the numbers: There are 90 news articles covering this topic. 36% (32) are left leaning, 23% (21) center, 41% (37) right leaning.

On Friday, President Trump said in a series of tweets that if the Supreme Court acts as he hopes when considering the DACA program next term, he would be open to a bipartisan congressional bill addressing the program. Trump expressed his belief that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which was implemented by President Obama in 2012, is an unlawful program. In the tweets, Trump called Obama’s actions in implementing DACA “totally illegal” and expressed frustration that Trump has been unable to eliminate the program through executive action. One tweet reads “DACA will be going before the Supreme Court. It is a document that even President Obama didn’t feel he had the legal right to sign - he signed it anyway!” In June, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case next year (in June 2020) to determine whether the Trump administration illegally tried to end the program.

A right-leaning article on Trump’s comments from Fox News focuses on his characterization of Obama’s actions as illegal, noting Trump’s belief that Obama’s use of executive order to enact the program was illegal. Additionally, the article reminds readers that Trump campaigned on ending DACA in 2016 and attempted to do so in 2017, but was “blocked by federal courts that ruled that the phase-out could not apply retroactively and that the program should be restarted.”

A left-leaning article from the Washington Post, in contrast, emphasizes Trump’s stated willingness to work toward a bipartisan bill on DACA. According to the article, “Since his administration’s move to scuttle the program in 2017, Trump at times has said he would like to find a way to protect those in the program. But attempts to work out a political compromise have foundered amid the larger partisan debate over immigration and border security.” The article adds that Democrats are likely to view Trump’s comments expressing support for a DACA deal with skepticism. 

A centrist article from the New York Post recounts Trump’s tweets and his assertion that there was a disparity between the tolerated uses of his and Obama’s executive powers. The article also adds that the Supreme Court case is examining the legality of Trump’s order to end DACA, not Obama’s order to enact it.