Trump Admin Announces It Will Not Accept New DACA Applications
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In a massively controversial decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that the Trump administration can't immediately terminate the Obama-era Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
In a 5-4 ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with Democrats and held that President Donald Trump can't continue with his plan to end DACA, which has shielded roughly 800,000 young immigrants from deportation.
The opinion was written by Roberts and joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor -- the Court's four liberal justices.
The Obama-era DACA program has shielded just shy of a million children that came to the United States with their parents, who also did not have the legal right to enter the country.
Now, the Trump administration has announced that it will not allow new applications for the program.
Current enrollees will remain in the program and be allowed to re-enroll annually as they have been for nearly a decade.
A memo from acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said current enrollees in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program can renew their protection from deportation on an annual basis.
The memo came about a month after a Supreme Court ruling in which President Donald Trump’s effort to end DACA was blocked. A majority of justices said no policy rationale was given for ending the program, which was created by former President Barack Obama through an executive order in 2012.
The decision, announced by the Department of Homeland Security in a statement on its website, was framed by Wolf as an interim step in response to the Supreme Court’s decision.
The Trump administration will reject all initial requests for DACA and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents as well as new and pending requests for advanced parole unless there are exceptional circumstances. Advance parole allows DACA recipients to return to the United States after travel outside the country, according to the DHS.
“As the Department continues looking at the policy and considers future action, the fact remains that Congress should act on this matter,” Wolf said. “There are important policy reasons that may warrant the full rescission of the DACA policy.”
Renewals for DACA now will be on an annual basis rather than every two years.
Wolf also fired off a shot at Congress for failing to resolve the issue for nearly a decade.
“First, even if the DACA policy could have been justified as a temporary measure when it was created, Congress arguably has had more than sufficient time to consider affording permanent status or immigration relief to the class of aliens covered by the policy. And yet, although various proposals have been advanced to do that, Congress has so far declined to take action. Particularly in the face of this failure to reach a legislative solution, I have serious doubts as to whether DHS should continue to provide either a reprieve from removal or a grant of attendant benefits to more than half a million aliens through a broad, class-based deferred-action policy,” he wrote.
“DACA makes clear that, for certain large classes of individuals, DHS will at least tolerate, if not affirmatively sanction, their ongoing violation of the immigration laws. I am deeply troubled that the message communicated by non-enforcement policies like DACA may contribute to the general problem of illegal immigration in a manner that is inconsistent with DHS’s law enforcement mission,” he wrote.
Of course, Democrats also freaked out online over the memo.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, said he is ready to return to court immediately, according to USA Today.
“The courts have spoken: DACA is in full effect, including for new applications,” he said. “We are ready if the Trump Administration tries to block or dismantle DACA. We know what it takes to defend DACA – we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again if necessary.”