The internet is buzzing that President Trump has decided to end the Obama-era DACA program as early as tomorrow, but White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted today that no final decision had been made.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created by a 2012 Obama executive order postpones deportation for undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before age 16 and prior to June 2007.
Ending the politically charged DACA policy was one of Trump’s campaign promises in connection with controlling illegal immigration, but he has seemed conflicted over how to resolve the issue. In February, the president admitted that it was a very difficult issue for him to deal with because many of the so-called Dreamers are “incredible kids,” the McClatchy news service reported. “In some of the cases they’re having DACA and they’re gang members and they’re drug dealers too. But you have some absolutely incredible kids, I would say mostly,” he said.
According to Fox News, Trump plans to allow the Dreamers to stay in the U.S. until their work permits expire (an additional two years in some cases). All this could just be a trial balloon to gauge public reaction, which is a technique past administrations have also used.
The Dreamer terminology evolved from the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act that never passed Congress.
The attorney generals of 10 states who oppose the program plan to sue the Trump administration on Tuesday unless the president follows through and ends DACA, but CNN claims negotiations are underway to extend the lawsuit deadline to explore further options, including action by Congress. CNN also claims that the president and his team don’t want to distract from the Hurricane Harvey recovery effort by making any announcement about DACA in the near term.
Even if maintained in its current form, officials also believe that DACA will not survive a legal challenge.”Trump and senior administration officials, including White House chief of staff John Kelly, have said they don’t believe DACA would hold up in court,” TheHill explained. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session also believes the program is unconstitutional.
There have also been allegations of fraud in the DACA application process, the Washington Times suggested in 2013.
Virtually all congressional Democrats, plus the social justice cohort on Twitter, along with some Republicans, support DACA primarily in the name of family unification. The approximately two-year period when work permits would still be in force “could give Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill who are sympathetic to these young, undocumented immigrants some time to come up with a plan before most of the recipients lose their status, said a congressional source familiar with the GOP strategy,” McClatchy added.
The status of DACA, which is currently a trending Twitter hashtag, is a developing story. Watch this space for updates on whether DACA will be dumped by President Trump.
[Featured Image by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]