President Trump Ends Obama’s ‘Dreamer’ Immigration Program
Tuesday, US President Donald Trump on shredded a program that protects from deportation almost 800,000 young men and women who were brought into the United States illegally as children, ordering a phased-out dismantling that gives the Congress 6 months to decide the immigrants’ fate.
President Trump’s action, announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, rescinds a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The administration presented the move as necessary to show respect for the country’s immigration laws, and said nobody covered by the program would be affected before 5 March 2018.
In a statement issued by the White House, President Trump said, “I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.”
The move to end DACA marked the latest action by President Trump that is sure to alienate Hispanic Americans, a growing segment of the U.S. population and an increasingly important Democratic voting bloc. Most of the immigrants protected by DACA, dubbed “Dreamers,” came from Mexico and other Latin American countries.
President Trump’s order, deferring the actual end of the program, now gives the responsibility for the fate of the Dreamers to Congress.
Former President Barack Hussein Obama bypassed Congress and created DACA through an executive order in Y 2012.
USAG Sessions said The Trump Administration concluded that Mr. Hussein Obama exceeded his authority in setting up the program, which has long been the target of conservative hard-liners on the issue of immigration.
Elaine Duke, acting head of the Homeland Security Department, issued a memo rescinding DACA. The department will provide a limited window until 5 October for some DACA recipients whose work permits expire before 5 March 2018 to apply to renew those permits. This would mean that some beneficiaries of DACA could be in the country through Y 2019.
DACA recipients whose work permits expire will be considered to be in the country and eligible for deportation, but will be a low priority for immigration enforcement, administration officials said.
President Trump is determined to pressure US lawmakers to act. “Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!” he wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning before the policy announcement was made.
There are signs that Congress may be willing to act, with a number of senior Republican lawmakers coming forward to express an interest in protecting the Dreamers.
The President’s decision was forced by 9 Republican state attorneys general, led by Texas, who had threatened a legal challenge in federal court if he did not act to end DACA.
House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan called on lawmakers to find a long-term solution for the young people affected by the reversal of the program.
“We are people of compassion and we are people of law. But there is nothing compassionate about the failure to enforce immigration law,” USAG Sessions said.
This is a sign that the Republican moderates in Congress are losing their footing