DACA’s future in the hands of congress
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The New York Times reported, that as early as March, some of the 800,000 young adults brought to the United States illegally as children who qualify for the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, will become eligible for deportation.
The news came when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced, on September 5th, that the Trump administration has ordered an end to the Obama-era program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation. President Barack Obama had signed DACA as a temporary order with hope that Congress would eventually pass the Dream act and broader immigration changes.
To give Congress time to repeal DACA, Trump deferred implementation of his order for six months, which will come to an end right as Republican primaries will be heating up, placing pressure on GOP moderates.
Congress has already begun negotiations and according to The New York Times, Republican leaders indicated that they will need sweeteners, perhaps funding for a border wall or other measures to bolster border security. Currently, there are at least two bipartisan bills that could grant legal status or create a pathway to citizenship for those who were eligible for DACA.
“’Democrats have to decide. O.K., do we allow the deportation of these young people because we don’t like a Republican taking leadership on this issue? Or do we go with a Republican led initiative,” stated Representative Mike Coffman. NPR’s Tom Gjelten says the DREAMers’ cause is likely to receive strong support from Christian leaders, including some from President Trump’s own conservative base.
Despite the end of the DREAM Act, Immigration and Customs Enforcement says its enforcement priorities have not changed. It has no plans to target DACA holders as their permits expire. The USCIS generally has not referred cases in which a person’s DACA application is denied to immigration enforcement authorities unless the case involves a criminal offense, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety.
Similar to what Senator Bob Corker has said, this is an opportunity for the U.S. to deal with a myriad of other issues , alongside DACA, involving a broken immigration system.