Donald Trump’s former Homeland Security chief has revealed that she deliberately undermined the President’s attempt to end protection for ‘Dreamers’ because it was against her own beliefs.
Elaine Duke, a lifelong Republican, was the acting secretary from July 31, 2017 to December 6 of the same year.
Her short term in office coincided with the President’s efforts to end protection against deportation for 700,000 youth known as “Dreamers” who were brought to the United States as children.
Barack Obama had issued Deferred Action for Youth Arrivals (DACA), protecting them from deportation as long as they did not break any laws.
Elaine Duke spoke outside the White House in September 2017 and spoke to the New York Times on Saturday
Duke’s actions to deliberately weaken the policy led the Supreme Court to conclude last month that Trump’s actions against DACA were unconstitutional.
Duke, 62, said The New York Times in an interview published Saturday about her reason for sabotaging the plan.
She explained that in August 2017 she was led to what she said was a meeting to discuss DACA.
Instead, she said, it was “an ambush,” with then Attorney General Jeff Sessions waiting for her next to Stephen Miller, Trump’s hardline immigration specialist.
They demanded that she sign a memo to revoke DACA.
She reluctantly agreed, but with that she diluted it to justify it legally difficult.
“What I was missing is actually that process of discussion,” she said.
“It is a serious decision, not only from a legal point of view, but also because of the effect it will have on not only 700,000 people, but 700,000 people plus their families.”
Jeff Sessions, former Attorney General, and speech writer Stephen Miller ambushed “Duke.”
Duke and Trump in August 2017 during her four months as Acting Head of Homeland Security
The bare memo did not contain any policy reasons to revoke DACA.
Instead, it simply said that Sessions had considered it illegal.
She told the newspaper that she disagreed with Miller and Sessions’ ideas that DACA amounted to an undeserved amnesty and would encourage new waves of illegal immigration.
She said she still agreed that DACA is “not a legal program,” but hoped that Republicans and Democrats in Congress would eventually find a way to permanently get undocumented immigrants covered by the program into the United States. live and work.
Her decision not to cite specific policy reasons was central to the Supreme Court ruling, saying that the Trump administration had not considered the implications of ending the protection and benefits of the program in substance.
Duke, a 30-year-old experienced civil servant who volunteered with an immigrant relief group in her spare time, knew very well what she was doing.
Trump’s DACA ruling, announced in September 2017, affected 700,000 people
The DACA issue sparked a heated debate, with many Republicans feeling uncomfortable about Trump’s policies
She said she supports the President’s efforts to strengthen immigration security. But the president’s “America First” philosophy has shifted to “America Only,” she told the newspaper.
White House officials have long expressed displeasure at Duke’s short tenure as chief of internal security, describing her as reluctant to be a team player and resist the president’s agenda, the newspaper reported.
White House spokesman Judd Deere was asked about Duke’s actions and said Trump did what he was elected to do.
Deere said Trump has “kept his promise to the American people to reduce illegal immigration, secure the border, lower crime, and maintain public order.”
“He never doubted his highest commitment to the American people: their safety and security,” Deere added.