Donald Trump has suggested that he intends to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration programme, but give Congress time to deal with the issue.
What is DACA?
DACA shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Who is protected by the programme?
DACA applies to unauthorised immigrants who were brought to the US as children, a group often referred to as Dreamers.
Immigrants are eligible for DACA if they came to the US under the age of 16 and have lived in the country since June 15, 2007. They cannot have been older than 30 when the Department of Homeland Security enacted the policy in 2012.
Since the Obama administration began DACA, 787,580 people have been approved for the programme, according to government data.
In a recent survey of 3,063 DACA recipients, the average age that respondents said they’d arrived in the US was 6-and-a-half years old. The survey was conducted in August 2017 by Tom Wong of the University of California-San Diego for the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, and other immigrant advocacy groups.
What does DACA do for Dreamers?
If their applications are approved by US immigration officials, Daca recipients can obtain valid driver’s licenses, enroll in college and legally secure jobs.
The programme does not give Dreamers a path to become US citizens or legal permanent residents.
What has the President said about DACA?
“DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me, I will tell you. To me, it’s one of the most difficult subjects I have because you have these incredible kids,” Mr Trump said in February, less than a month after taking office. “We’re gonna deal with DACA with heart.”
Last week, when asked whether Dreamers have anything to worry about, Mr Trump said, “We love the Dreamers.”
Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2017
“Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!,” the President tweeted on Tuesday morning, suggesting that he is punting the issue over to the legislative branch.
What is expected to happen?
Pulling the plug on the programme could upend the lives of nearly 800,000 people. Mr Trump reportedly plans to end DACA but have a six-month delay in any action regarding the programme, CNN reported.
This would give Congress time to pass legislation that would allow the undocumented immigrants to stay in the country. But it is still unclear how Congress will address the matter and what will be included in a bill.