by Countable | 6.16.17
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly signed a memorandum protecting so-called Dreamers, young immigrants covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), in direct opposition to President Donald Trump’s campaign statements. In April 2017, President Trump softened his rhetoric, saying that Dreamers should "rest easy."
On the campaign trail then-candidate Trump insisted that, if elected, he would "immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties." He was referring to DACA and a related program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), which President Obama tried to put in place in 2015.
Before DAPA could be implemented a coalition of 26 attorneys general, all represneting states led by Republican governors, sued to block the policy. The case made its way to the Supreme Court, where the court was deadlocked in a 4-4 decision, leaving the injunction imposed by lower courts in effect without setting a precedent. The rescinding of the DAPA policy, explained in a DHS news release Thursday, officially ends that legal battle.
DACA was introduced by the Obama Administration in 2012 to address immigration issues for people brought to the United States as young children. It does not provide a road to citizenship. Instead, it provides eligible young immigrants with legal status and work permits, as long as they meet certain requirements. The requirements for DACA status (though meeting them does not guarantee approval) are that an applicant:
Came to the United States before their 16th birthday.
Has lived continuously in the United States since 15 June 2007.
Was under age 31 on 15 June 2012 (i.e., born on 16 June 1981 or after).
Was physically present in the United States on 15 June 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS.
Had no lawful status on 15 June 2012.
Has completed high school or a GED, have been honorably discharged from the armed forces, or are enrolled in school.
Have not been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanors, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
It is estimated that approximately 1.7 million immigrants are DACA eligible, though currently the program has protected 787,000 young people from deportation. DACA-approved immigrants must reapply every two years for a renewal of their status.
From the outset the DACA program faced opposition, primarily from Republicans, who argued that the president does not have the right to set immigration policy unilaterally. In 2013 nearly all Republicans in the House (and two Democrats) voted to defund DACA. In practice, however, the move had no real teeth because the program largely pays for itself through application and renewal fees, so it doesn't depend on congressional appropriations.
Trump administration officials were quick to point out that the current memorandum does not permanently resolve the DACA question. The New York Times quotes Jonathan Hoffman, DHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs:
"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…[John Kelly, DHS Secretary] has noted that Congress is the only entity that can provide a long-term solution to this issue."
This week’s administrative actions, coupled with an announcement in March that the administration will not pursue a policy of separating parents and children apprehended crossing the border, has quelled some concerns about increased immigration enforcement’s effect on families. But the official end of DAPA will affect the lives of an estimated 10 million U.S. citizens and lawful residents who live in a household with at least one adult who would have been covered if the policy had gone into effect.
Should Congress institute permanent protections for those immigrants currently covered by DACA or who would have been covered by DAPA? Use the Take Action button to tell your reps what you think!
— Asha Sanaker
(Photo Credit: Joe Frazier Photo via Flickr / Creative Commons)*
Written by Countable
I think that DAPA and DACA should be put in place permanently with a clear, equitable procedure that leads to citizenship. All the people this would effect have been here for years, paid thousands of dollars into system they can't use, and arr willing to walk across a desert or put their lives in the hands of human smugglers just to be American. We should embrace that. We did before.
Dreamers are active members of our society and deserve to be treated as such. I will not stand to see those trying to simply make a better life only to be ripped away by some money making racist agenda from the Trump administration. Please fight for the Dreamers.
Let the dreamers stay- they are our future, this is their home 🏡 as much as it is my children's. Thank you for listening
I am ashamed to think my representatives are wasting time/money to over think or out think common sense. Please be more compassionate and smart and let the good people stay and pay taxes.
I find wanting to deport anyone who has held or holding a job, paid taxes, completed an elementary education, completed college, enlisted in our military is just a figment of your imagination. I just can not understand how you believe these folks harm our country. If they commit crimes that is what jails & prisons are for. That creates jobs. Being the countries they came from won't want them. It is time to look at this issue and resolve it.
how about we spend money on better things than a wall...
These "dreamers' are probably BETTER citizens and more loyal to the US BECAUSE their positions have been so tenuous. And they have been raised here, schooled here ... they are more American than the Hundreds if not thousands of other ethnic kids who are citizens because their moms flew here just before birth & they were born on US soil but then moved back to their parents countries of origin... ALL intentional on the parents side .. so the kids would have a US passport and citizenship! I personally witnessed this very thing in my tenure in the Middle East as I taught Arab children who were US & Canadian citizens & passport holders BUT had spent virtually no time in our countries. THE 'dreamers are the ones we should want to keep!
We should protect the Dreamers and allow them a quick path to citizenship. This is the only home they have known.
Dreamers should stay. As should their parents.
I'm glad to see Trump softening his policies on immigrants and supporting DACA. I hope you do as well. Heading in a good direction. #MakeAmericanKindAgain
Should they be here? No. Should the legalization process be refined and sped up ? Yes. Is it moral to kick them all out? No. Is it costly to kick them all out? Yes. Let's address the problems we have now. Secure the border (is a wall the best solution? Probably not) and speed up the legalization process (either accept them or decline them faster- no more year(s) long costly procedures).
Something both sensible and compassionate, I'd call that worth noting. Now let's consider the humaneness of immigrant detention facilities and also the separation of families.
The dreamers should be placed on the fast track for citizenship. These kids are American in everything but the official stamp. Many were unaware that the were not citizens. Let me ask you, where in the heck would you send them? To a little town that they have never set foot in? To a country whose language is not known to them? Leave the Dreamers alone!!
This is not enough. Law abiding Men and women working and in this country should not have to fear deportation. This bill does not do nearly enough!
This is great. Not enough though.
Please find a path to citizenship for the DAPA and DACA immigrants!
If they are here and are contributing in a positive manner to our country then I see no reason not to let them stay. To deport a child back to a country where they do not know anything about is cruel and unjust.
Let the dreamers stay. What kind of country would we be if we arrested them. We are a country of open arms compassion and progressive thinking. Sick the right right right have abducted us but this will change. Let the dreamers stay.
Comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to full citizenship, is still needed. In order for that to happen, the American public must understand that immigration, documented or not, is a benefit to our country, not a danger to be feared. The best way to deal with immigration is to fully integrate immigrants into our society as hard-working tax-payers. They have so much to contribute, we only hold ourselves back when we fear and reject them.
Let the Dreamers and their parents stay. Separating families is cruel and pointless. These are people who have contributed to the American society and economy. Treating himan beings like human beings is common sense and benefits us all. They deserve a path to citizenship. Let's act like the melting pot America claims to be...