The Note: Trump resists ownership of DACA as decision looms

Attorney General Sessions will announce the administration's decision on DACA.

ByVeronica Stracqualursi
September 05, 2017, 6:53 AM


  • DACA no more? President Trump has tapped Attorney General Jeff Sessions for an 11 a.m. ET announcement about the administration's position on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Sessions won't be taking questions.
  • What's another deadline … The likeliest scenario has the Trump administration's ending the program that protects nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants, but after a six-month delay.
  • "Begging for war." That's U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley's assessment of North Korea's actions, as the United States pushes for the toughest sanctions yet after the biggest nuclear test conducted by Kim Jong Un's regime.
  • A list that was already long. Congress returns to work today to battle the clock over a government funding deadline, Hurricane Harvey relief, health care, tax overhaul...and now, it seems, immigration.
  • THE TAKE with ABC News' Rick Klein

    What happens when a president punts on an issue Congress doesn't want to catch? If President Trump goes through on his proposal to phase out DACA after six months, 800,000 individuals who were brought to the United States as children will spend up to half a year in legal limbo. They will be forced to make decisions about their future even if Congress can't. In that vein, a Trump administration deferral to Congress does no one any favors. It adds a new deadline and a whole lot of work to a legislative environment that has spoiled far more optimistic moments around immigration issues. The president doesn't want to own this – he's having his hardline attorney general, Jeff Sessions, announce what counts as his decision – and that only deepens the divide inside the Republican Party. DREAMer status would be easy enough to solve in a bipartisan way, as a one-off. But few are in the mood to do things piecemeal because nobody is sure what else can pass these days. Trump has disrupted, mocked and shredded the traditional power centers of governance. Now he'll need those power centers to bail him out, and take care of hundreds of thousands of individuals who have been and are American but for a few critical details.


    With everything else on the docket, there is no guarantee a Republican-controlled Congress would take up, let alone pass an immigration bill to extend protections to the so-called DREAMers. Republicans have struggled to unify around their own campaign promises, and the Dream Act was far from their list. Democrats controlled both chambers in 2010 and even they could not get a bill like this passed then, though, ironically, the legislation may have a better shot today. In the immediate wake of the tea party wave, a handful of Democrats voted against the bill back then. This year, it would likely have universal support in the party. Now it would be a vote to keep protections and rights in place and to continue a program that, by and large, has been viewed as a success. It's always easier to vote to keep something around. In addition, there is real bipartisan support now. Powerhouses like Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, would guarantee at least a few Republican votes and a handful of GOPers did vote for it last go around, ABC News' MaryAlice Parks writes.


    "Enough is enough. We have taken an incremental approach, and despite the best of intentions, it has not worked." – U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on North Korea


    Attorneys general plan to sue Trump if he ends DACA. Attorneys general from New York and Washington state have threatened legal action against the White House amid reports that President Trump will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program today. Attorneys General Bob Ferguson of Washington and Eric Schneiderman of New York issued statements Monday condemning the expected policy change, which Trump has been considering for months.

    Congress returns to a full plate of deadlines and presidential directives. After an unusually eventful summer recess, Congress is returning to work this week with a long to-do list driven by fiscal year deadlines, natural disasters and presidential directives. Here's a look at what the House and the Senate will tackle starting on Tuesday:

    Nikki Haley to U.N. on North Korea: "Enough is enough." U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the Security Council Monday that its incremental approach toward getting North Korea to stop its nuclear program has failed. Haley appeared to back up statements by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and President Donald Trump that called for sanctions against any countries that do business with North Korea.

    On DACA, President Trump has no easy path. The New York Times

    Obama to speak out if Trump ends DACA. Politico

    Betsy DeVos is planning a major Title IX announcement this week. BuzzFeed

    Spicer lands post-White House gig. Politico

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.

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