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Apr-04-2018 16:10printcomments

Reports of the Demise of DACA are Premature

For now, DACA participants will still be able to renew their status.


(SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.) - Easter is a festival and holiday celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred three days after his crucifixion by Romans at Calvary.

In the spirit of this important Christian holiday, President Trump tweeted that morning that a deal for Dreamers was dead. The next day he declared DACA “dead.”

With a stroke of a pen, Trump could have restored the DACA program. Now that would have been a welcome Easter gesture.

Turning the truth on its head, the demise of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA — often called “Dreamers”) wasn’t his fault, it was those pesky Democrats for failing to pass legislation to provide legal status for 790,000 young immigrants.

I hate to confuse Trump with facts, but he knew or should have known that the DACA or other legislation to help the Dreamers was unlikely to pass in Congress by March 5, 2018, the deadline set by him.

The Dream Act was first introduced in the Senate on August 1, 2001, by Senators Dick Durbin (D- Illinois) and Orrin Hatch (R- Utah), and has since been reintroduced several times but has failed to pass.

The legislative goal was to provide a means for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children to gain a pathway to permanent legal status; provided those individuals achieved certain milestones.

In response to the failure of Congress to pass the Dream Act, President Obama in 2012, issued an Executive Order giving these young unauthorized immigrants the right to seek work permits and deportation relief through the DACA program.

On September 5, 2017, with a stroke of a pen, Trump phased out DACA over six months unless Congress stepped in with its own plan for these childhood arrivals.

Trump promised to sign the Dream Act, if Congress passed it. But Trump kept changing the rules in midstream by demanding a quid pro quo -- he would sign a Dream Act or other help for Dreamers if Congress provided money for a wall and limited visas for extended family members, which Republicans call chain migration, and cancelled the visa lottery program.

Although Trump once claimed a "great love for DACA recipients,” the death of DACA plays to his base of supporters who I am sure are delighted with his continued anti-immigrant stance. Dreamers don’t need this kind of love.

However, the death of the DACA may be premature. Federal District Judge William Alsup of the US District Court for the Northern District of California has blocked the plan to end DACA and held that the Trump administration must resume accepting renewal applications.

On February 26, 2018, the Supreme Court said it will stay out of the dispute concerning the DACA program for now, meaning participants will still be able to renew their status. The Supreme Court action means the case will continue in the lower courts.

The Dreamers can breathe easier for awhile.


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