South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced Tuesday he would put on hold the threat of joining with some attorneys general of other states to challenge the constitutionality of an order by President Obama that shielded children brought to the U.S. illegally from deportation.
Earlier Tuesday, President Trump announced he would rescind the executive order that created DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – but would give Congress six months to pass a law to deal with the issue.
DACA has become one of the most sensitive political issues for the Republican Party in recent months.
Trump had promised to do away with DACA – which granted temporary legal status to some 800,000 young people, mostly Hispanics – after taking office. Many voters in Trump’s political base take a hard line on illegal immigration.
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However, numerous politically important states, such as Texas, have large populations of DACA young people, who are called “Dreamers.” To allow them to be deported could cost the Republicans’ heavily in future elections, some political observers say.
Wilson, who has said he questions the constitutionality of Obama’s action, said Tuesday he will abide by whatever Congress does. “I would not challenge any legislation Congress passes, as long as it’s consistent with the Constitution.”
President Obama authorized the DACA program in 2012. Republicans in Congress had repeatedly blocked legislation that would have protected young adults who were illegally brought here as children and have grown up as Americans. DACA supporters fear that if they were deported, they would be forced to go back to countries in which they would effectively be foreigners.