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Donald Trump Law

Trump Continues to Fight for the End of DACA

Ever since President Obama signed DACA, The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, it has received constant beratement from Republicans and conservative activists. One of the most common criticisms of DACA is that President Obama did not have the legal right to sign it.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an American immigration policy that allows some individuals with unlawful presence in the United States after being brought to the country as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit in the U.S. To be eligible for the program, recipients cannot have felonies or serious misdemeanors on their records. Unlike the proposed DREAM Act, DACA does not provide a path to citizenship for recipients, known as Dreamers. The policy, an executive branch memorandum, was announced by President Barack Obama on June 15, 2012. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting applications for the program on August 15, 2012.

DACA is essentially immigration policy, something the White House does not possess the power to make. Congress is explicitly given the power to legislate immigration policy in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. No such power is given to the Executive. This is a point that President Trump has emphasized multiple times, most recently tweeting, “President Obama never had the legal right to sign DACA, and he indicated so at the time of signing. But In any event, how can he have the right to sign and I don’t have the right to ‘unsigned.’ Totally illegal document which would actually give the President new powers.”

The President also tweeted, “The Immigration Law Institute’s Christopher Hajec says, ‘The Supreme Court has to look st whether DACA is lawful. What they are looking at now is whether Trump’s recision of DACA is lawful. Must consider lawfulness of DACA itself. Looks very odd that President Trump doesn’t have the discretion to end the program that President Obama began in his discretion. That program was unlawful to begin with. I think it’s very unlikely that the SCOTUS is going to issue an order reinstating what it believes is an unlawful program. DACA Is unlawful,’” In response to a report by the Immigration Law Institute’s Christopher Hajec that claimed President Obama’s actions were illegal.

President Trump campaigned on ending DACA, something that has proven extremely difficult. In 2017 the President released a plan to phase out the program, but was blocked by the federal courts. The case is now heading to the Supreme Court and will be heard in October. In response to this President Trump tweeted, “DACA will be going before the Supreme Court. It is a document that even President Obama didn’t feel he had the legal right to sign – he signed it anyway! Rest assured that if the SC does what all say it must, based on the law, a bipartisan deal will be made to the benefit of all!”

In August 2018, USCIS estimated there were 699,350 active DACA recipients residing in the United States. Immigration researchers estimate the population to be between 690,000 and 800,000 people.

DACA’s fate is currently up in the air. President Trump is confident the Supreme Court will rule in his favor, and they very well might. The court’s conservative lean could be enough to secure a huge victory for the president. However, the Supreme Court has been reluctant to touch the topic. In February of 2018 the Supreme Court refused to hear the White House’s appeal to a lower court ruling prohibiting the president from suspending the program. Although, this ruling came before Justice Brett Kavanaugh replaced Justice Anthony Kennedy and secured a conservative majority on the court.

Whatever the outcome, this case will likely be a defining moment for the Trump administration, and could effect the President’s 2020 reelection as the court’s decision will likely be released in early to mid 2020.

Immigration lawyer struck off for “hijacking identities”

A jailed immigration solicitor who turned to crime only two years after qualifying has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT).

Sheikh Muhammad Usman was jailed for seven years at Croydon Crown Court in April this year for assisting illegal immigration through the “hijacking of identities”.

The SDT said Mr Usman was born in 1972 and qualified in 2008. He “became involved in the criminal activity” in 2010.

“Although he was not particularly experienced as a solicitor, he was a mature individual aged 35. Of the four defendants, he was the only qualified solicitor.

“The judge described the offences as particularly serious and striking at the heart of the immigration system and undermining public confidence in that system.”

The SDT went on: “A crime had been committed which was deliberate, calculated and repeated. It was elaborate, sophisticated and involved a high degree of planning.

“It continued over a period of time from 2010 to 2016. As a participant, [Mr Usman] concealed his activities, which only stopped because the criminal activity was discovered. Vulnerable people were exploited.”

Mr Usman, both at his trial and his SDT hearing, which he did not attend as a serving prisoner, maintained his innocence. He has appealed his conviction.

“He asserted that he was a victim of crime and had been deceived, which the judge did not accept, and he had been convicted. The only real mitigation he asserted was that he was innocent.”

Counsel for the Solicitors Regulation Authority said Mr Usman had been involved in a “fairly sophisticated” illegal immigration scheme, the ringleader of which was a Home Office employee, Shamsu Iqbal.

Judge Gower QC told Croydon Crown Court that Mr Iqbal accessed Home Office records of genuine individuals who had, at some point in the past, been in contact with it over their status.

He changed the records to “enable impostors to take the records of genuine individuals”.

The three other defendants would act as legal representatives of the impostors, corresponding with the Home Office to legitimise their immigration status.

Judge Gower said the motivation was “financial rather than humanitarian” and Mr Iqbal profited “to a very considerable extent”. A “considerable number of people” were helped to remain in the UK in breach of immigration law.

As an example of the impact on innocent individuals as a result of the “hijacking of identities”, the judge gave the example of a man detained at Heathrow and then Harmondsworth for nine days before the true position could be understood.

By virtue of his conviction, Mr Usman was found to have breached a number of SRA principles and showed a lack of integrity.

The allegation that he failed to notify the SRA of the date of his trial or fact of his subsequent conviction was rejected. He was struck off and ordered to pay costs of £2,500.