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Nebraska Attorney General responds to DACA decision

Posted at 11:14 PM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-06 07:19:15-04

Nearly 3,000 DREAMers in Nebraska are now faced with another wave of uncertainty as President Trump announced the elimination of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Tuesday morning.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the president’s decision, saying it was based on undoing executive overreach by then-president Obama, who implemented the program in 2012.

Nebraska’s Attorney General Doug Peterson joined nine other Republican state attorneys general in asking the Trump administration to phase out the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program by rescinding the DACA executive action and then refusing to renew or issue any new DACA permits.

Hours after Trump ended DACA, Peterson told 3 News Now he was hoping for the announcement.

“I know this is a very emotional issue but what I’m trying to stress is that, look – you can’t give the president this much power using executive order, because if you do, it takes out the balance of power.”

Peterson said his stance on DACA is not against DREAMers, but on Obama’s executive order on DACA that expanded law, which he says is unconstitutional.

“It's inappropriate for me to take an oath of office and then look at what I see is clearly unconstitutional, and say well, politically it would probably hurt me, I need to let it go, or politically it will favor me, I can't play that game. I have to be consistent in upholding the law,” said Peterson.

Over much criticism to include Nebraska and his own signature on the 10-state coalition to sue the administration, Peterson said just as his constituents hold him responsible, it’s up to him to hold Congress responsible.

“I think what the effect of what we as attorneys general did in this particular case, is we made it very clear, that Congress, this is your responsibility. You can't shirk it. You can't say, well the Executive Order covers it because our constitution never allowed that. The constitution clearly says that Congress has the responsibility to make all laws regarding immigration,” added Peterson.

Peterson says it’s now up to Congress to create a permanent solution for DREAMers.

"This issue has always been with Congress - and Congress needs to take all those stories that people are talking about that I'm well aware of, and they need to address it by legislation,” said Peterson.