Trump supporters may be disappointed to learn that the president has officially reneged on his campaign promise to deport former President Obama’s undocumented “Dreamers.”
In a late-Thursday night briefing, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly announced that he had revoked an Obama-era order that would have prevented the deportation of any undocumented parents of millions of U.S. citizens.
However, Trump has pivoted on a key campaign promise to deport Obama’s so-called “Dreamers.”
In January, outgoing President Barack Obama told then President-elect Donald Trump that the executive actions that were taken to protect the “Dreamers” are one of his most important legacies.
Obama allegedly told Trump that if a change to the program were to be initiated, it would be the one issue that would move him to get back into the political arena and defend it. According to an official who attended the meeting, Obama “spoke to Trump very directly” about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“[Obama’s] message was, those are good kids who didn’t do anything wrong. That was heartfelt. He brought that up.”
Although Trump vowed to dismantle the executive action protecting undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as small children, it seems as though the president has heeded Obama’s words and had a change of heart.
According to the New York Times, Secretary Kelly said that the intention of the Obama-era program was to provide these undocumented immigrants with work permits so that they may seek legal jobs. According to Kelly, that work will go ahead as planned.
The Department of Homeland Security stated that those undocumented immigrants who enrolled in the DACA program in 2012 “will continue to be eligible” to renew their permits every two years, noting that “no work permits will be terminated prior to their current expiration dates.”
David Leopold, a lawyer and immigration rights activist, said that Trump’s campaign reversal was a victory for “Dreamers.”
“This is a big victory for Dreamers amid months of draconian and mean-spirited immigration enforcement policy. The preservation of DACA is a tribute to the strength of the Dreamer movement.”
Many of Trump’s most dedicated supporters view the Obama-era program as an illegal grant of amnesty and were elated when Trump pledged to “immediately terminate” DACA the moment he got into office. Trump said Obama’s actions had “defied federal law and the Constitution.”
Now that Trump has decided to keep the program in place, many of his strongest supporters may be angered by the president’s latest immigration decision.
More than 800,000 people living in the United States are affected by the DACA program. In 2015, Obama tried to expand the program to include the illegal immigrant parents of U.S. citizens, which would have granted up to 5 million people.
However, the amnesty was never granted because it was blocked by a court in Texas, and then proceeded to end in a Supreme Court deadlock after it was challenged.
[Featured Image by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images]