The program that allowed as many as 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States as children to stay, is now being rescinded.
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration on Tuesday began winding down an Obama-era immigration program designed to protect undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States as children, but invited Congress to preserve it through legislation within six months.
“I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents,” Trump said Tuesday. Still, he added, “we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.”
In a written statement, Trump insisted Congress should be responsible for immigration policy. “The legislative branch, not the executive branch, writes these laws,” he said.
Earlier, Trump tweeted: “Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that the U.S. would rescind the 2012 order that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Sessions said the protections provided by former President Barack Obama’s DACA program were an “unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch.”
The Department of Homeland Security will immediately stop accepting applications to the DACA program – but current recipients would not be affected until March 5 of next year.
This gives Congress time to find a legislative solution to replace the program, which currently shields some 800,000 young immigrants from deportation.
President Trump is expected to announce an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. We break down what DACA is and what it could mean for thousands of immigrants.
Sessions said the effect of providing “amnesty” for young undocumented immigrants meant “aliens” took jobs from Americans. It also contributed to a surge of unaccompanied minors on the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences, he added.
“To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest, we cannot admit everyone who would like to come here,” Sessions said. “It’s just that simple.”
Yet many lawmakers questioned whether Congress, already bogged down on health care and tax reform among other issues, will be able to pass…