On September 5, 2017, Trump Administration announced an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program started by the Obama administration in June 2012. DACA had allowed certain undocumented immigrants (called “Dreamers”) who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to receive a renewable two-year work permit (EAD) and be exempt from deportation (“prosecutorial discretion”).
Nearly 800,000 Dreamers had been issued temporary protected status and EAD under DACA! To qualify, the recipients had to have lived in the U.S for at least 5 continuous years and be clear of certain criminal convictions. The recipients must have been in school, have graduated high school or earned a GED. If not, they should have been honorably discharged from the the U.S Coast Guard or the Armed Forces. They had to pay a fee and in exchange for which they would receive the EAD and protection from deportation.
All of this came to an end on September 5, 2017. At the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, DHS Acting Secretary Elaine Duke, announced Trump administration’s decision on rescinding the DACA program.
DHS has announced:
• Those currently enrolled in DACA will be able to continue working until their EADs expire
• Those whose EADs expire by March 5, 2018 can apply for a one last time 2-year renewal and are given until October 5, 2017 to apply.
Trump Administration called on Congress to provide a legislative solution to “Dreamers” before March 5, 2018. The rationale Trump Administration used to wind down DACA was that Obama’s Executive Order was unconstitutional and violated separation of powers given this should be a legislative function.
Trump Administration, made the following other observations in ending DACA:
• DACA was essentially Unilateral Executive Amnesty and among other things contributed to a surge of minors at the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences, and also denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal immigrant aliens to take those jobs;
• Allow a lawful system of immigration that serves the nation’s interests to set and enforce a limit on the number of immigrants;
• Enforce immigration laws in such a way that DOJ does not represent any narrow interest or any subset of the American people but represents all of the American people and protect the integrity of the constitution;
• Department of Justice found that the constitutionality of the DACA program conflicts with the existing immigrant laws of the nation and as such which was the main reason for its “orderly wind down.”
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