Axios: Trump Might Axe Obama-era DACA Program For Illegal Aliens

Posted: Aug 25, 2017 4:30 PM

Well, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program could be on the ropes, as the Trump White House is considering ending the Obama-era policy. The program’s constitutionality has been questioned concerning separation of powers, many conservative critics of DACA say that it’s legislation disguised as an executive order. DACA allows illegal aliens who entered the U.S. as minors to receive work and study permits, shielding them from deportation as long as they meet the defined criteria.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has also called the DACA program “constitutionally questionable.” In June, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announced that the order that created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents had been rescinded after consulting with the attorney general. So, it would make sense for the Trump administration to nix this program. After all, they’ve already signaled that they think the program is indefensible on a legal basis (via AXIOS):

Why this matters: If Trump rescinds the program, it will affect a huge number of people. At least 750,000 people currently have DACA status. Despite promising on the campaign trail to immediately rescind DACA, Trump has wavered since taking office, saying he feels for these children who were brought to the country through no fault of their own. The Trump administration has continued to issue new permits under the program, and with its future unclear, many families are confused and anxious about their futures.

What the administration believes: The Trump administration doesn't believe it has the legal authority to maintain the current program; and DHS has made clear that if Congress wants to keep the principles of DACA in place, it would need to introduce legislation to do so.

What's prompting Trump: On June 29, Texas AG Ken Paxton sent a letter — co-signed by 10 other attorneys general from conservative states — to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in which they "respectfully" request that the Secretary of Homeland Security phase out the DACA program; warning that they'll otherwise amend an existing lawsuit to challenge the program in court.

ABC and NBC News have both reported that the president is leaning towards axing the program, which could impact the ability for at least 750,000 to work and study here. The Dreamers vow to “fight like hell” to defend the program (via HuffPost):

Dreamers “will fight like hell” to defend DACA, Greisa Martinez Rosas, advocacy director of the group United We Dream, said in a statement, referring to killing the program as a “violent white supremacist priority.”

“Trump said that immigrant youth could ‘rest easy’ and Speaker [Paul] Ryan said we were safe, but has done nothing,” she said. “Now Trump is considering taking protections away from me and 800,000 immigrant youth to make us vulnerable to being chased down by ICE agents, locked in detention camps and deported. This is outrageous.”

United We Dream and other groups plan to rally outside the White House on Friday afternoon in support of the program.

Advocates fear that instead of Trump maintaining protections for so-called Dreamers ? young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children ? as he has for the past seven months, the president could shut down DACA, either by stripping work permits and protections immediately or by disallowing current recipients to renew once their two-year status ends.

That would mean nearly 800,000 people would find themselves unable to work legally, taking them out of the workforce and potentially leaving employers scrambling to replace them.