Senator Cruz Introduces Bill to Repeal DACA

Ted CruzLast week, Republican Senator Ted Cruz, whose home state of Texas is at the center of the border crisis, introduced legislation that would stop the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

DACA is the Obama Administration’s program, created through a policy memo, that grants deferred action to illegal aliens who claim they arrived in the U.S. as minors. In general, to qualify for DACA an illegal alien must claim to have been 30 years old or younger when the program was initiated and have arrived in the U.S. before turning sixteen years old. Under the program, a granting deferred action means that the government has deferred any removal of the alien, in two-year renewable increments, and provides the alien work authorization.

When President Obama announced the creation of DACA, many Members of Congress decried the move as an unconstitutional circumvention of Congress and an unbridled attempt to use executive authority for political gain. Congress had rejected the DREAM Act at least three times, most recently in 2010. Moreover, they pointed out that there is absolutely no statutory basis for deferred action status; it is merely referred to in the federal regulations. Even more troubling, deferred action is not subject to judicial review.

Now, two years after its creation and with illegal alien minors flooding the U.S. border, Senator Cruz is attempting to put an end to DACA. His straightforward, two-page bill provides that no “agency or instrumentality” of the federal government may use government money or resources to:

  1. Consider, adjudicate any new or previously denied DACA application; or
  2. Authorize any alien to work in the U.S. if such alien was not lawfully admitted into the U.S. under federal law and is not “in lawful status” in the United States on the day of enactment.

The last provision, regarding lawful status, seeks to target a specific distinction the Obama Administration and immigration attorneys have made regarding terminology. That is, in the June 15, 2012 memo that created DACA, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s clearly stated that granting deferred action conferred no “immigration status” on an illegal alien and that only Congress could confer such lawful status.  However, the administration also declared (by executive fiat) that the presence of DACA aliens in the U.S. “is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security,” and, for admissibility purposes, DACA beneficiaries (although still illegal aliens) are considered to be “lawfully present” in the U.S. This decree that DACA aliens are lawfully present prevents certain bars to admission from applying to these illegal aliens, should they apply for admission to the U.S. at a future date. (See, e.g., INA(a)(9)B))

In a statement upon introducing his bill, Senator Cruz made it clear that President Obama’s immigration policies, including DACA, were the cause of our current border crisis:

“Since his unilateral action in 2012 to implement DACA, the numbers of children arriving in the U.S. illegally — transported by dangerous criminals and drug cartels eager to exploit President Obama’s amnesty — predictably exploded…”

He also offered the following facts:

  • In 2011, approximately 6,000 unaccompanied minors came to the United States.
  • In 2012, when President Obama issued DACA, the number of unaccompanied minors arriving in the United States rose to 14,000.
  • In 2013, the number of unaccompanied minors arriving in the United States rose to 34,000.
  • In 2014, Customs and Border Protection estimate 90,000 unaccompanied minors may be apprehended.
  • In 2015, the Obama Administration has stated it expects 145,000 unaccompanied minors to enter the United States.

Cruz concluded that the only way to stop the current border crisis is to stop DACA:

If we do not put an end to its expansion — to the promise of amnesty that is the reason so many are coming — then more little boys and girls will be trafficked, abused, and even killed. We have an obligation to make sure that not one more child is hurt by this president’s lawlessness.

Not surprisingly, reaction from Senate Democrats was swift. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) blasted Senator Cruz for attempting to end DACA. Reid accused Cruz of trying to deport children who are “legitimately” in the country:

Before Republicans help our Border Patrol agents and all the personnel that’s trying to do something to handle this humanitarian crisis, they want President Obama to deport the DREAMers who are already here, legitimately here.

Cruz’s bill was one of several introduced by Senators and Representatives this week. However, both on the Senate side and House side, leaders gave little indication of which route they plan to take. Debate over these bills, and the President’s $3.7 billion funding request (which lacked any policy changes), is expected to take center stage next week when Congress returns to Washington.

This article originally appeared in FAIR’s Legislative Update on July 22, 2014.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar
    Concerned Citizen on

    Ted Cruz may end up on the 2016 GOP ticket the way he’s going. A Latino on top of the GOP would be good for the GOP and bad for the radical leftists that want to “try out” Cuba-style government through the unchecked immigration of low-wage workers.

    • avatar
      John Winthrop on

      Correction you and your descendants should be deported for as long as the Universe exists.

  2. avatar

    I suppose that what POTUS, the worst thing that has happened to America since 1861, is actually doing is admitting those who have no skills, no means for supporting themselves, and probably no desire to work to support themselves into our once great country to live “off the fat of the land” and the things we US citizens have paid to receive all of our lives. Being the kind caring person I am, this is great with me as long as the moron in chief and all of those who support this madness provide all of the financial support these people require out of their own personal bank accounts and not at the expense of the citizens of the USA. A good example would be to let them live on the lawn at the White House (I hope that is not yet a racial term) and to share living accommodations with all of the supporters of this ridiculous idea. An option might be to let Hillary and Bubba buy them housing in northern Alaska.

  3. avatar

    Obama authorized the alledged “Dreamer” election year stunt by executive action. He could get away with it only for two years. The two years ran out so the coward extended it for another two years to bump the problem into the next administration while he skips town at taxpayer expense to the villa he’s buying in California. Best stragety for Congress as it holds the purse strings, is to NOT give Obama one single thin dime and keep those kids in lockup until after the next election to reduce him to the lamest of all lame ducks.

    • avatar

      There is a bit of good news in this for me. Praise the LORD, I sold my property in California and left the country PERMANENTLY to avoid his subsequent “Executive Actions” and his successor, when the going gets tough Hillary, whose election is almost assured by the lack of love for the USA by current, ignorant legal residents and the admission of illegals who will vote two or three times, eligible or not. MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA!

  4. avatar

    DACA May Be a Main Magnet for the Central American IA KId Dump on America

    But where were these same Republicans’ on implementing immediate E-verify in the workplace? I know, they COMPLETELY evade the real method to turn the IA spigot completely off.

    • avatar

      So true. No job, No money, No reason to stay. Mandatory E-Verify now! Only 10% of American business participate in the voluntary program for obvious reasons. Turn off the job magnet and empty the hornet’s nest at their own expense.

    • avatar

      sounds more like Mr Cruz is one of the few in DC trying to do the job he was elected to do, and therefore does not qualify as a “loser”, as does someone that is critical of that. It’s time for those in DC to start using some common sense and start doing for Americans. Reasonableness is part of common sense.

  5. avatar

    Since it’s a proven fact that a lot of the new arrivals do not show up for hearings or contact authorities as instructed, let’s do a put up or shut up for all the advocates, including various church organizations. Let them put up a ten thousand dollar bond for each arrival. If the illegal is a no show, then that bond is forfeited. Line up on the left to write the checks. Hello? Anyone?

    • avatar

      Good idea. The only problem is that catholic charities and the baptist family service groups (probably others also) are receiving tens of millions of dollars in grant money from HHS, courtesy of taxpayers, to take care of unaccompanied minors. More than likely that money would also be used as bond money. Does it seem as though all we do is pay…and not for anything good in this case?

    • avatar
      John WInthrop on

      Leland you support those cases by supporting no reform………if we had reform that should be fixe THEREFORE………you are part of the problem as well.

      • avatar

        Open your eyes. What makes you think reform is the answer? Try enforcing the LAWS first.
        Do you think new laws and more money is the answer? You obviously support Party before people.
        This country’s natural resources are already taxed. Lets just keep them pouring in so we can all learn to
        enjoy food and water shortages like other parts of the world. Where are the tree hugging Liberals when
        they actually make sense , Hanging on to Party before people? I have to go to work now to support all the mooches in government.