September 5, 2017; New York Times
Acting on his campaign pledge, President Trump on Tuesday, through a statement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, ordered an end in six months to the Obama-era executive action that protects some 800,000 undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” from deportation. Trump urged Congress to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program with legislation before March 5, 2018. “Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!” the president tweeted Tuesday morning. And, late last night, he followed up with the following:
Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2017
Mr. Trump said in his written statement, “I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.” The New York Times notes that, “In the statement, he notably did not endorse bipartisan legislation to codify the Dreamers’ protections.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent this letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), recommending an end to DACA. DHS announced on its website on Tuesday that no new requests for DACA will be accepted, that pending requests for DACA will be adjudicated, and that DACA renewal requests received by October 5, 2017 from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire before March 5, 2018, will be adjudicated. All DACA benefits are provided on a two-year basis, so individuals who currently have DACA will be allowed to retain both DACA and their work authorizations (EADs) until they expire. But if Congress fails to make DACA law, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children could face deportation to countries where most of them have never lived. The DHS Memorandum on Rescission Of DACA goes into much more detail.
A number of conservative publications, including the National Review, praised President Trump’s executive action. On June 29, 2017, 10 state attorneys general sent this letter to Mr. Sessions, threatening to mount a legal challenge unless the administration phased out the DACA program. However, the outcry was immediate and forceful. Protest marches blossomed in Philadelphia, in Washington D.C., at Trump Tower in New York City, in Denver, in Los Angeles, and elsewhere. Others are planning protests, such as in Kentucky and more in Los Angeles.
According to the Migration Policy Institute, California is home to more than one in four DACA participants. The California attorney general, Xavier Becerra, and Governor Jerry Brown promised legal action to challenge the Tr