The Trump White House announced the end of DACA on Tuesday. The Obama program had protected nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation.
The Department of Homeland Security will stop processing any new applications for the program as of Tuesday and rescinded the Obama administration policy, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. “I am here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday at the Justice Department.
Trump took the opportunity to blame President Obama for the problem, claiming Obama’s executive authority did not allow for such action. Trump then said “It is now time for Congress to act!” Because of past conflicting statements, it is unclear whether Trump wishes congress to enact DACA as law, or to end the program which would result in approximately 800,000 young undocumented immigrants being subject to deportation. In the past, Trump has said that all illegal immigrants must leave the country before being able to legally re-enter. He also said that “I have a great heart for these folks we’re talking about. A great love for them and people think in terms of children but they’re really young adults. I have a love for these people and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly.”
Trump said that winding down the program would be more considerate than letting the courts end it, but emphasized he stands by his “America First” agenda. “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,” Trump said. “We must also have heart and compassion for unemployed, struggling and forgotten Americans.”
Trump’s strategy probably is to let congress come up with a plan for immigration reform. Once they do, he may use DACA as a bargaining chip to get congressional approval to fund the wall he so desperately wants.