White House Clarification: No Decision on How to Replace DACA Has Been Made

This May 7, 2013 photo shows Martha Lopez waiting for assistance with her temporary work permit at the Honduran Consulate in Los Angeles. The group Casa de Maryland, rallied outside the White House in Washington in support of the president's announcement that the U.S. government will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. by their parents when they were children, known as "Dreamers." Thousands of "Dreamers" are deciding if they will apply for DACA, or deferred action program, costing $465 dollars. Due to the price, some may wait for comprehensive immigration reform that might grant them legal residency. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Yesterday, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly announced the Obama-era immigration policy called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) was rescinded. This program ran in tandem with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Its purpose was to prevent the deportation of the illegal parents of American citizens and resident aliens. DAPA was challenged in court and never implemented. Kelly’s memo simply recognized the legal indefensibility of DAPA.


What Kelly’s memo did not address was DACA. As you know, one of Trump’s campaign trail promises was to rescind DACA. Some reports said that the DAPA memo meant Trump had decided to keep DACA. Reuters is reporting that is not the case:

The Trump administration is still reviewing a policy set in 2012 by U.S. President Barack Obama that protects from deportation nearly 600,000 immigrants brought into the country illegally by their parents, known as “Dreamers,” a White House spokesman said on Friday.

“No final determination has been made,” said the spokesman, who asked that his name not be used.

In a statement on Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security statement said DACA “will remain in effect.”

The New York Times subsequently published a story citing the statement, saying that Dreamers would be allowed to stay.

In fact, the White House spokesman said, the statement was only meant to clarify that the rescission of the program for parents would have no impact on the program for immigrants who arrived as children.

But as president, he has said his administration was devising a policy on how to deal with individuals covered by DACA. No formal changes have been announced.


DACA is an infinitely more difficult issue than DAPA and, if the underlying problem is going to be solved, requires Congressional action to codify the status of persons covered by DACA, now and in the future. The last thing that is needed is another slapdash policy fix that keeps some three-quarters of a million people in a status where they can’t fully participate in the economic or political life of the nation and their status is based on the whim of the president.


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