Patterico's Pontifications

1/10/2018

White House Doctors Transcript to Remove Embarrassing Trump Response to Feinstein

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:30 pm

Ann Coulter called it “the lowest day of the Trump presidency.” Most people who care about immigration and have not been living under a rock heard this exchange between President Trump and Senator Dianne Feinstein yesterday:

From the official White House transcript:

SENATOR FEINSTEIN: I think there needs to be a willingness on both sides. And I think — and I don’t know how you would feel about this, but I’d like to ask the question: What about a clean DACA bill now, with a commitment that we go into a comprehensive immigration reform procedure? Like we did back — oh, I remember when Kennedy was here and it was really a major, major effort, and it was a great disappointment that it went nowhere.

THE PRESIDENT: I remember that. I have no problem. I think that’s basically what Dick is saying. We’re going to come up with DACA. We’re going to do DACA, and then we can start immediately on the phase two, which would be comprehensive.

SENATOR FEINSTEIN: Would you be agreeable to that?

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I would like — I would like to do that. Go ahead. I think a lot of people would like to see that, but I think we have to do DACA first.

The bold language was especially troubling, because Trump was agreeing to a clean DACA bill.

Funny thing about that: the bolded language didn’t make its way into the initial version of the White House transcript:

The White House sent out a correction Wednesday to a transcript of President Donald Trump’s meeting with members of Congress in which he explicitly agreed to a Democratic proposal to fix Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program (DACA) before tackling immigration reform.

. . . .

In the corrected version, which the White House sent out Wednesday morning—nearly 24 hours after the meeting took place—Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Trump about the possibility of passing a legislative solution for DACA before turning to immigration reform, which would include issues like tougher border security.

Trump responded, “I would like — I would like to do that. Go ahead. I think a lot of people would like to see that, but I think we have to do DACA first. “

In the initial version, which the White House released on Tuesday, that comment from Trump was omitted. Instead, the quote read, “I think a lot of people would like to see that, but I think we have to do DACA first.”

The White House story: it’s all on the stenographer. I suppose that’s possible. It’s just odd, the way that the most damning part of the quote was initially whisked away.

Hey: at least they didn’t doctor the actual video. That’s the way Obama’s shop used to do it.

None of this ever happened, gentlemen!

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

Outrageous: Clinton Appointee Blocks Parts of Trump’s Order Undoing DACA

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:30 am

This is truly absurd. A federal judge appointed by Bill Clinton has issued an order blocking enforcement of portions of President Trump’s order undoing DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), Obama’s name for amnesty for “DREAMers.” Trump’s entire order is not blocked, as the administration need not process new applications, but those who previously submitted applications are allowed to renew them pending the outcome of the litigation:

A federal judge on Tuesday night ordered the Trump administration to revive part of the program that protected children illegally brought to the United States by their parents from being deported, calling the administration’s abrupt decision to end the program last year “arbitrary” and “capricious.”

. . . .

Partly granting a request from the University of California, U.S. District Judge William Alsup issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday night in San Francisco ordering DHS to resume accepting renewal applications from people who are already protected under DACA while challenges to the September order work their way through the courts. But DHS doesn’t have to accept new applications, he ruled.

Alsup, who was nominated to the court by President Bill Clinton, scolded DHS for having presented no analysis of the impact its order would have on the almost 700,000 young people “who had come to rely on DACA to live and to work in this country.”

This decision is outrageous. Immigration is Congress’s business. Obama overstepped his authority in issuing a blanket amnesty to a group of people under the guise of prosecutorial discretion. Trump had every right to undo that decision and return the issue to Congress, where it belongs.

The decision is here, and it makes no sense at all. In essence, the judge holds that the administration wrongly decided that Obama’s DACA order was illegal, and this decision was “arbitrary and capricious.” One aspect of the decision that has gotten attention from the press: it cites Trump tweets in its reasoning.

On the night of the rescission, President Trump called upon Congress specifically to enact DACA, tweeting, “Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!” During an interview earlier in 2017, President Trump had stated “we are not after the dreamers, we are after the criminals” and that “the dreamers should rest easy” (App. 1852–53, 1958).

The easy and lazy reaction to this is that Trump is undisciplined and issues poorly thought-out statements that put his executive actions in legal jeopardy. That is often true, but here, there is really nothing in these statements that is objectionable. Trump’s voicing support for the plight of DREAMers is politics, and evidently something he believes. That does not mean that, as President, he is stuck with an illegal executive way of handling it. Nor does it mean that he believes that a Congressional solution would necessarily track every jot and tittle of Obama’s illegal executive order.

As a side note: many will express frustration with the courts undoing every executive order of Trump’s, harkening back to the reversals of Trump’s immigration order affecting Muslim countries. The difference there is that Trump was arguably impinging on Congress’s role to determine who enters the nation; Trump’s authority to make those decisions on his own is circumscribed by statute, as the primary authority rests with Congress. Here, by contrast, Trump’s order undoing DACA returned the DREAMers issue back to Congress, where it belongs.

I hope that this order is swiftly appealed and reversed. It’s a naked power grab by the courts and has no basis in law.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]


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