DACA ‘unlawful’ despite Supreme Court ruling, acting Homeland Security chief says

Rishika Dugyala

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Sunday that his agency would follow the Supreme Court's ruling on Obama-era protections for young, undocumented immigrants — but the administration is still looking "to end an unlawful program.”

The Supreme Court delivered President Donald Trump a blow earlier this week, ruling in a 5-4 decision that the administration could not block the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program because it failed to provide an adequate justification. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court majority.

DACA, introduced in 2012 by former President Barack Obama, protects nearly 700,000 young immigrants — frequently referred to as "Dreamers" — without citizenship or residency status from deportation.

While the ruling is a temporary relief, DACA supporters say the fight is not over. Trump has made it clear that he will attempt to end the program again.

“At no point in that decision did they say that the program was lawful,” Wolf said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "They simply didn't like the rationale and the procedures that we used. And I find that a little troubling.”

Wolf said the Obama administration created the program “out of thin air” and didn’t allow the American people enough time to weigh in.

On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Wolf said Trump directed his agency to examine its rationale for rescinding DACA and write an explanation that could pass legal muster.

“We need to find a solution for this population,” Wolf said on NBC. “As the acting secretary of Homeland Security, I don't have the luxury to ignore the law. The program's unlawful.”

Wolf added that Trump is “begging Congress” to solve the problem. In the past, lawmakers have been unable to reach consensus on a broader immigration package.

“We're willing to sit down at the table and negotiate with them,” Wolf said.