Speaking on behalf of President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions today announced the end of the Obama-era program known as DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — which allowed undocumented aliens who arrived here as children to stay, work and study without fear of deportation. Sessions called DACA a constitutional “overreach” that had to go to restore “the constitutional order and rule of law in America.”
President Obama issued an executive order in 2012 establishing the program, and he was widely criticized at the time by Republicans for usurping Congress’ authority to control matters of immigration. Now some of those same Republicans are criticizing Trump for ending the program.
The six-month expiration date is designed to give Congress time to cope with drawing up a replacement law. President Trump, in saying he looked forward to working with Congress on the legislation, announced:
“As I’ve said before, we will resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion – but through the lawful democratic process – while at the same time ensuring that any immigration reform we adopt provides enduring benefits for the American citizens we were elected to serve. We must also have heart and compassion for unemployed, struggling, and forgotten Americans.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would accept no more applications for DACA but would honor all applications received thus far. About 800,000 youths and young adults, known as Dreamers, are currently protected by DACA from deportation. DHS also announced no deportation action on Dreamers would take place before March 6, 2018.
Trump’s decision coincided with a deadline given him by ten states that they were planning to sue to get DACA overturned.