US President Donald Trump and his administration plan to end the program established by Obama that protects people who've entered the country illegally as children. There will also be a delay of 6 months in order to give Congress ample time to act.
Jeff Sessions, the US Attorney General, announced the decision on Tuesday and argued that DACA was an overreach and is unlawful. Sessions also said there is no way for him to defend former Pres. Obama's program.
This sets up a rush for lawmakers as they try to pass a legislation that will be able to give the so-called dreamers protection before the deadline set by the Trump administration ends.
As of the moment, it’s still unclear whether the Congress led by the GOP will be able to pass a bill for protection in just 6 months as it’s also currently facing multiple crucial deadlines. Take note that the same members of the Congress approved the DACA program when Obama was in the office.
Public opposition to cancel the program mounted recently and there have been protests all over the country. Paul Ryan, the House Speaker; R-Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, and other top Republican lawmakers pushed the administration and President Trump to not scrap the program. Even technology sector leaders voiced out their disapproval of the program's cancellation.
On the other hand, Trump’s allies like Sessions urged him to put an end to the program. They say that they will have a hard time defending it in court.
But that’s not all.
According to the Attorney General, if the country is to go further in its goal of strengthening the rule of law and the constitutional order, then the DOJ simply can't defend this particular overreach of Obama’s administration.
The DACA program started way back in 2012 under Obama’s administration. Scrapping it entirely will affect almost a million young adults who have been registered under it. The program gives immigrants a protection of 2 years from deportation. It also allows them to seek employment within the United States.
Below is what the Trump administration will be doing and has already done, as reported by the Homeland Security Department:
- Elaine Duke, the Acting DHS Secretary, issued a memorandum to formally rescind DACA.
- The US government will no longer process any new request or application for the DACA protection.
- Those who are currently protected by the DACA program won't be affected by any changes before March 5. This is to provide Congress some time to create appropriate legislative solutions.
- Work permits and protection from deportation for current DACA holders will remain to be effective until they expire. After the expiration, they won't be shielded any longer. As for the government, it will hear every single pending application for DACA protection. This includes the renewals. It will then decide on all pending applications and renewals one by one.
On Tuesday, Pres. Trump tweeted: "The Congress needs to start getting ready and do its job on DACA." The President did not signal any specific action that he wants the Congress to take regarding the program.