Trump Administration Authorizes Short-Term Continuation of DACA Program

A child holds a sign at an immigration reform march in Washington, D.C., in 2010. (Susan Melkisethian / CC 2.0)

A child holds a sign at an immigration reform march in Washington, D.C., in 2010. (Susan Melkisethian / CC 2.0)

President Trump is keeping the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in place, at least for the short term. In a memorandum released late Thursday night, the administration stated it would continue DACA, an Obama-era program that protects undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. At the same time, the memorandum revealed the elimination of another Obama-era program that was never implemented, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).

President Trump promised during the 2016 election campaign to eliminate DACA, but White House officials were quick to point out Friday that the decision to uphold DACA is not a guarantee that the program will exist in the future. The New York Times writes:

White House officials said Friday morning that Mr. Trump had not made a decision about the long-term fate of the program and might yet follow through on a campaign pledge to take away work permits from the immigrants or deport them. …

“There has been no final determination made about the DACA program, which the president has stressed needs to be handled with compassion and with heart,” said Jonathan Hoffman, the assistant secretary for public affairs at the department. He added that John F. Kelly, the secretary of Homeland Security, “has noted that Congress is the only entity that can provide a long-term solution to this issue.” …

Asked repeatedly about his intentions for the program since he took office, the president has hinted that he would not try to deport the Dreamers. But immigration activists had remained worried that the administration might still eliminate the program.

The announcement that the DACA program will continue for the time being, a decision that affects about 800,000 people in the United States, came as the administration formally ended Mr. Obama’s attempt to expand it to also cover the parents of the Dreamers.

Read more here.

—Posted by Emma Niles

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