Well, today is the day. It’s the day that the Trump administration made it official: the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is over. A program created by the Obama White House to shield illegal immigrants, who came into the U.S. as minors, from deportation. Of course, there is a set of requirements for applicants to meet in order to obtain a deferment. If they qualify, all they have to do is pay the $495 application fee and deferments need to be renewed every two years. The executive action’s constitutionality has been questioned and has remained in legal limbo for years. Axios’ Jonathan Swan reported this month that the Trump White House was leaning in the direction of nixing the program since their lawyers felt it was indefensible. The Department of Homeland Security added that an act of Congress would be required to keep the program as it stands today. While Donald Trump voted for hardline immigration reform, he seemingly looked for “a way out” of the DACA decision, according to the New York Times:
For months, an anxious and uncertain President Trump was caught between opposing camps in the West Wing prodding him to either scrap or salvage an Obama-era program allowing undocumented immigrants brought to the country as minors to remain in the United States.
Last week, with a key court deadline looming for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, Mr. Trump, exasperated, asked his aides for “a way out” of a dilemma he created by promising to roll back the program as a presidential candidate, according to two people familiar with the exchange.
Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, John F. Kelly, who had wrestled with crafting a compromise in his previous job as the president’s homeland security secretary, began consulting with Republican lawmakers and staff members for a quick fix, according to three officials familiar with the situation. He finally arrived at an inelegant solution to an intractable problem: Delaying a decision on the final fate of about 800,000 “Dreamers” covered by President Barack Obama’s executive action for six months, and putting it on Congress to come up with a legislative solution to the problem.
Congressional Republicans expect the administration to unveil some version of this stopgap solution on Tuesday, but Mr. Trump will not make the announcement himself. Instead, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will handle it at an 11 a.m. briefing. He will not take questions from reporters.
It’s a politically perilous issue for sure. As for the so-called DREAMers, one of the criteria for obtaining a DACA deferment was showing proof that you are here illegally. A lot of information that can be used by immigration enforcement for deportation measures can surely be used against the almost 800,000 DACA recipients in the U.S. That’s why they’re preparing for the worst. In the meantime, New York and Washington has decided to file a lawsuit against this move by the Trump White House, which the latter says is “illegal” (via The Hill):
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) said Monday that his state will sue Trump if ends the program, which shields from deportation undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as minors and received work permits.
“If President Trump follows through on his reported decision to cancel DACA after a six-month delay, the Washington Attorney General's Office will file suit to halt this cruel and illegal policy and defend DACA recipients,” Ferguson said in a statement.
“We have been working closely with legal teams around the country, and we expect to be joined by other states in this action.”
Yeah, some could argue that the death penalty is cruel, but it’s constitutional, as is enforcing federal immigration laws. The era of paying a $495 bribe for the government to not enforce the law is over. Still, this is another huge item to add to Congress’ already packed docket of raising the debt ceiling, Harvey relief, a new budget resolution to keep the government open, tax reform, and maybe another swing at health care.