Ten years after President Obama decided to rewrite immigration law by executive fiat, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rightly said what everyone knew all along: Mr. Obama’s program of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also called DACA, was illegal. The “Dreamers” covered by it have safe harbor for now, but it’s incumbent on both parties to find a legislative fix.
DACA provided legal status and work authorization to young adults who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. But the Fifth Circuit’s three-judge panel says the Obama Administration’s 2012 memo creating the policy exceeded its statutory power and violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). These aren’t close questions. Even Mr. Obama in 2011 argued that he didn’t have the authority to wave a wand and shield Dreamers from deportation.