DACA “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” Has Been Terminated by President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump has ended the DACA program, or “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday. The program will not accept any applications starting Wednesday.
“I’m here today to announce that the program known as DACA, that was effectuated under the Obama administration, is being rescinded,” Sessions said.
In a phone call with reporters Tuesday morning, a DHS official said on background that current DACA beneficiaries whose permits expire before March 5, 2018 would be eligible to re-apply for an extra two years of protected status over the next six months. However, that means hundreds of thousands of individuals whose permits expire after March 5 would be eligible for deportation as early as the next day, ABC News first reported.
The official claimed that DHS “will not take action to remove active DACA beneficiaries. The transfer of information from USCIS to ICE would only take place where there is a significant law enforcement or national security interest.”
The attorney general did not take any questions after his announcement Tuesday, but Trump made clear earlier Tuesday that he wished to wash his hands of the problem, telling Congress to legislate a solution — “do your job – DACA!” he tweeted Tuesday — and allowing underlings in his administration to deliver the news in his place.
DACA currently protects nearly 800,000 young undocumented people from deportation, and it could have protected many more had Trump chosen to maintain the program. Some in Congress, including Republicans, have begun attempts to replace DACA with legislation, but it’s far from likely that both the Republican-controlled House and Senate and the President will agree on a solution to protect undocumented people.
The Department of Homeland Security said it would no longer accept new applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which has provided renewable, two-year work permits to nearly 800,000 dreamers. The agency said those currently enrolled in DACA will be able to continue working until their permits expire; those whose permits expire by March 5, 2018, will be permitted to apply for two-year renewals as long as they do so by Oct. 5.
New applications and renewal requests already received by DHS before Tuesday will be reviewed and validated on a case-by-case basis, even those for permits that expire after March 5, officials said.
Trump administration officials cast the decision as a humane way to unwind the program and called on lawmakers to provide a legislative solution to address the immigration status of the dreamers. Senior DHS officials emphasized that if Congress fails to act and work permits begin to expire, dreamers will not be high priorities for deportations — but they would be issued notices to appear at immigration court if they are encountered by federal immigration officers.