House Speaker Paul Ryan praised President Trump’s decision to “rescind” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program Tuesday, just days after saying Trump should not roll back the program.
“However well-intentioned, President Obama’s DACA program was a clear abuse of executive authority, an attempt to create law out of thin air,” Ryan said in a statement following the DACA announcement made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions Tuesday. “Congress writes laws, not the president, and ending this program fulfills a promise that President Trump made to restore the proper role of the executive and legislative branches.”
But last Friday, in an interview with a hometown radio station, Ryan said he favored keeping DACA in place.
“I actually don’t think he should do that,” Ryan said when asked about Trump’s proposal to end the program. “I believe that this is something that Congress has to fix.”
In the interview, Ryan said that Obama did not have the legislative authority enact DACA (notably, DACA is not unconstitutional), but that, despite this, ending DACA would leave hundreds of thousands of people “in limbo.”
“These are kids who know no other country who were brought here by their parents and don’t know another home, and so I really do believe that there should be a legislative solution. That’s one that we’re working on,” Ryan said. “We want to give people peace of mind.”
Ryan said he has had “plenty” of conversations with Trump about the program and that Trump told Ryan he wanted a “humane solution.”
Ryan has generally avoided criticizing the president directly at all costs, and his original comments would have put him on a collision course with Trump.
In his statement Tuesday, Ryan reiterated that he believes Congress should “fix” DACA.
“…Now there is more to do, and the president has called on Congress to act,” Ryan said, apparently referencing a vague tweet from the president Tuesday morning, in which Trump wrote, “Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!”
Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2017
The decision to rescind DACA includes a six-month delay; Ryan also called for “clarity” Tuesday morning regarding how those protected by DACA will be affected during that interim period.
“At the heart of this issue are young people who came to this country through no fault of their own, and for many of them it’s the only country they know,” Ryan said. “It is my hope that the House and Senate, with the president’s leadership, will be able to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution that includes ensuring that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country.”
The GOP is not speaking with one voice about what’s next for the Dreamers (those who are protected by DACA).
On Fox News Tuesday morning, Trump adviser and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said DACA recipients “are not children” and that there is nothing wrong with asking them to “go home.” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) went so far to say Tuesday morning that Trump is “doing a favor to every DACA kid” by killing the program.