US President Donald Trump on Friday said he will sign an executive order on immigration in the next few weeks with a path to citizenship for migrants who are illegal in the United States but arrived in the country as a child.
In an interview with Spanish-language TV network Telemundo, Trump said that one aspect of the measure would involve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the program that protects hundreds of thousands of such immigrants – often called “Dreamers” – from deportation.
“I’m going to make a big executive order … And I’m going to make DACA part of it,”
There is zero constitutional authority for a president to create a “path to citizenship” by the executive fiat.
It was unconstitutional when Obama issued executive amnesty, and it would be a big mistake if Trump tries to extend amnesty illegally. #TellTheSwampNO #RuleOfLaw https://t.co/RLWuCgcNU6
– Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 10, 2020
A White House spokesman later said that all orders from the president will not include amnesty for migrants who are illegal in the United States but arrived in the country as a child.
“This does not include amnesty,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.
The US Supreme Court last month dealt a major backlash to Trump’s tough immigration policy, blocking his bid to end DACA, created in 2012 by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.
The ruling did not stop Trump from trying to quit the program again. But his administration may find it difficult to revoke it – and win any subsequent legal battle – before the November 3 election where he seeks a second term.
Trump’s remarks received an immediate reprimand from his fellow Republican, Senator Ted Cruz, who wrote in a Twitter post that “it would be a big mistake if Trump tries to extend the amnesty illegally.”
“There is zero constitutional authority for a president to create a ‘path to citizenship’ by executive fiat,” Cruz wrote.