‘What was missing for me is really that process of discussing it…’
In a Saturday New York Times interview, the former head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security admitted to undermining President Donald Trump’s DACA policy because it conflicted with her own immigration beliefs.
Elaine Duke, a lifelong Republican, served as the acting DHS secretary from July 31, 2017, to Dec. 6, 2017.
The meeting involved a memo regarding Trump’s order to rescind President Barack Obama’s controversial DACA protections.
Duke said she signed the memo, but she changed it to make the policy legally difficult to justify.
“What was missing for me is really that process of discussing it,” she said.
“It is a grave decision not only from a legal standpoint but from the effect it will have on not just 700,000 people but 700,000 people plus their families.”
Duke’s resistance operation apparently worked: Activist judges quickly enjoined Trump’s policy to block it from taking effect—despite the fact that the president was using his executive power to undo an illegal, constitutionally unjustifiable fiat by the Obama administration not to enforce federal law.
By stripping the legal justifications for the Trump order, Duke’s altered memo became central to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to strike it down.
Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court’s four liberals in issuing the majority opinion, in which he said the lack of legal reasoning offered in the written policy amounted to an “arbitrary and capricious” executive action, failing to meet the standards applied under the Administrative Procedures Act.
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, allows minors that are brought to the United States unlawfully by their illegal immigrants parents to stay in the country without fear of deportation even though they are not U.S. citizens.
An estimated 800,000 DACA recipients currently live in the U.S., most of whom are no longer minors.
Duke said Sessions and Miller believed that Obama’s constitutionally dubious program, which was created through an executive order, amounted to a de facto amnesty and beacon for other illegal immigrants.
She told the Times she disagreed with that perspective and that she hoped Republicans and Democrats would find a way to allow illegal immigrants and their children to live and work permanently in the U.S.
Duke called Trump’s “America First” philosophy, “American Only.”