President Trump on Wednesday criticized his own Justice Department for not urging the Supreme Court to get involved in a fight over whether Arizona can deny driver’s licenses to the young undocumented immigrants known as “dreamers.”
In a morning tweet, Trump said he agreed with Fox News commentator Lou Dobbs, who criticized the inaction on a Tuesday night segment of his show.
“Are you kidding me?” Dobbs asked his viewers, after recounting the case.
“Department of Justice should have urged the Supreme Court to at least hear the Drivers License case on illegal immigrants in Arizona,” Trump wrote. “I agree with @LouDobbs. Should have sought review.”
The “dreamers” are undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.
Trump’s criticism is the latest he has leveled at the Justice Department and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Among other things, he has called its handling of the probe into Russian election interference “a disgrace.”
The tweet also comes as Trump claims he is more interested in finding a permanent solution than Democrats in Congress for the fate of those enrolled in a program started under President Barack Obama that protects “dreamers” from deportation.
The Arizona case grew out of a decision by then-Gov. Jan Brewer to block participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program from qualifying for drivers’ licenses in her state. She announced the policy shortly after Obama launched the DACA program in 2012.
Brewer argued Arizona was simply enforcing a long-standing policy of issuing licenses only to those who can prove they are in the country legally.
The American Civil Liberties Union sued Arizona on behalf of a group of DACA recipients who were denied driver’s licenses. A federal appeals court ruled in their favor, saying U.S. immigration law prohibits states from making distinctions among different classes of noncitizens.
Arizona would have been the only state to bar DACA recipients from getting driver’s licenses.
The Justice Department recommended the Supreme Court not hear an appeal, saying the questions in the case “have been overtaken by events.” In effect, the department argued that Trump’s plans to rescind the program means the state’s concerns have already been addressed.
On Monday, without comment, the Supreme Court let the appeals court decision stand.
On his program Tuesday, Dobbs discussed the decision with high-profile lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who cautioned Dobbs that the Supreme Court could address the issues at hand in a future case.
“Stay tuned,” Dershowitz said. “This is just one step in a longer process.”
During the same segment Dershowitz offered his views on the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into possible collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.
Dershowitz repeated his view that he’s not a fan of special counsels generally.
“They’re told to try to find crimes, whether crimes exist or not,” he said. “I was opposed to the appointment of Mueller to be special counsel. I still am opposed to it. I think President Trump was right when he said there never should have been a special counsel appointed because there was no probable cause for believing that there was any crime, collusion or otherwise, or obstruction of justice.”
On Tuesday morning, Trump memorialized those comments in a pair of tweets that repeatedly referred to the special counsel as the “special council.”