As the DACA deadline looms, the Trump administration holds the fate of over 800,000 immigrant youth.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (or DACA) could arguably be one of the most consequential policies that the Obama administration had put forward in 2012. Under the DACA, children of undocumented immigrants – that had grew-up in the US – would be protected from deportation and it also allows them to apply for temporary (but renewable) work permits. Based on Pew Research estimates, DACA could potentially end up protecting around 1.7 million immigrant youth from being deported! Of those individuals being protected by DACA right now, that number is estimated to be around 800,000.
However, on Tuesday (September 5th), a group of Republican state officials are set to sue over its constitutionality. In turn this could put the immigration program in jeopardy, because that date could push the Trump administration to end the program, thus potentially making 800,000 immigrant youth at risk for deportation!
There’s a lot to process here, so let’s just break it down.
[Update 09/05/17: Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration was ending the DACA program. You can read more about it here.]
[Update 09/04/17: Politico is reporting that President Donald Trump has decided to end the DACA program, but will have a 6 month “buffer period” before ending the program, giving time for Congress to act on the issue. Politico is also saying the official word from the White House will come Tuesday, but when asked, Trump administration officials said they have yet to make a decision on DACA and their official stance will come soon. With all that said, President Trump’s stances have changed before, so it’s hard to assume anything until the official word comes in.]
Why Does the Trump Administration Have to Make a Decision About DACA Before September 5th?
To be clear, no one is legally forcing the Trump administration to make a decision over DACA before September 5th, but that date is when a group of state officials are planning to sue the federal government over DACA’s constitutionality. This of course puts the Trump administration – specifically President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions – in a very precarious position.
Both President Trump and Sessions are known for their tough on immigration policies, so if the Trump administration does decide to keep DACA, they would be in the awkward position of defending the program in court, over its constitutionality. That’s why if the Trump administration were to end the DACA program, doing it before September 5th would be the most logical.
So is the Trump Administration Ending the DACA Program Then?
Honestly, your guess is good as ours.
On the campaign trail, then GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump had blasted the Obama administration’s immigration policies as being dangerous and not tough enough. However, since entering the White House, President Trump has softened his stance against “Dreamers” (children of undocumented immigrants). Also many Congressional Republicans have asked the Trump administration to hold off on ending DACA.
— Susan Davis (@DaviSusan) September 1, 2017
Congress needs to take immediate action to protect #DACA kids.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) September 1, 2017
Regardless, President Trump has made it clear that his administration’s decision over the program would be “imminent.” It’s a safe assumption that their decision should come before the September 5th deadline.
(Photo Credit: Google Images)