Promise Kept: Trump Admin Rescinds DAPA Amnesty Program
The Trump administration says it hasn’t decided the fate of a program protecting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation, despite saying a day earlier that the program will continue.
The Trump administration fulfilled another campaign promise Thursday night when it ended an Obama-era program that gave legal status to undocumented parents of American children.
But in a statement late Thursday, the government said it would keep the “Dreamers” program that allows people who entered the United States illegally as children to stay if they are in school or working.
Immigration activists have praised Trump’s decision to allow the DACA program to continue. It was meant to keep the immigrant parents safe from deportation and provide them with a renewable work permit good for two years, but it was blocked by a federal judge in Texas after 26 states filed suit against the federal government and challenged the effort’s legality. “Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Nominee Francis Cissna have promised me personally and publicly that they will maintain the existing guidelines for the DACA program”.
As a candidate, Trump had called the program, formally known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an “unconstitutional executive amnesty”.
Connecticut Students for a Dream, a statewide network advocating for undocumented immigrants rights for youth, said in a statement Friday that DACA has protected more than 800,000 individuals across the country.
Asked repeatedly about his intentions for the program since he took office, the president has hinted that he would not try to deport the Dreamers.
DAPA “was immediately enjoined by the courts and it languished in limbo for two or three years, so my action yesterday was just a little housecleaning”, Kelly said at a meeting in Miami with Latin American leaders on security in Central America.
This mirrors the administration’s shift to harsher immigration raids that have separated parents from their children, prompting some city officials to declare themselves “sanctuary cities” for undocumented people in opposition to Trump’s draconian immigration policies.
The program applies to undocumented immigrants who came to the USA under the age of 16 before June 15, 2012. In April, President Trump told the Associated Press (ITALICS) his administration is “not after the dreamers, we are after the criminals”.