Here’s what you need to know about DHS’ recent memo and the current status of DACA.
Yesterday, the Trump Administration continued its efforts to remove DACA, as the Department of Homeland Security released a memo in defiance of a recent court order mandating new applicants to be accepted by DHS.
During a teleconference with the press, a senior White House official stated, “The administration is now undertaking a comprehensive review of the DACA program and the justifications that have been offered for winding DACA down, including its illegality and the negative effect the program has on what I’d call ‘immigration behavior,’ including smuggling and illegal crossings.”
All new applications submitted to DHS will now be rejected. The two-year renewal date instated with the Obama administration’s original DACA policy will now be one year, posing a potential financial hardship for many DACA recipients. Additionally, all applications for advance parole will be rejected with the exception of extraordinary circumstances.
The new memo aims to limit the DACA program while DHS reviews the legality of the program. In addition, the senior White House official concluded that DHS will also look at justifications for a possible wind-down of the program and “other considerations relevant to deciding whether to keep or wind down the DACA policy.”
In the same teleconference with the press, the Trump administration seemingly made up their mind. The White House official told the press that considerations will be reviewed, “including its illegality and the negative effect the program has on what I’d call ‘immigration behavior,’ including smuggling and illegal crossings.”
A reporter asked the senior White House official, “based on how you’re describing the review, it sounds very much like you’ve already decided that the program is illegal, and it seems like the decision has already been made; you’re looking for a justification for it. So what -- in what way can this be considered a good-faith review that would actually meet the requirements set out under the Administrative Procedure Act?”
The White House official responded, “so a couple of things here to clarify. First off, there’s litigation pending in several federal district court jurisdictions. So when we have an order in DDC, there’s also litigation in Maryland, in the Eastern District of California -- so it’s important to note that there isn't a one-track for litigation. So one judge’s orders are not a penultimate here.” When asked if the White House review will be on a circuit-by-circuit basis, the senior official noted that court orders from both sides of the issue will be reviewed.
Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden called the Trump Administration’s action a “cruel step in its misguided crusade to repeal DACA,” then, later on, called it “wrong” and “un-American”. The Former Vice President reiterated his belief that DACA recipients are Americans and “our own”.
Biden emphasized its cruelty by citing that many DACA recipients are essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Democratic Presidential Nominee vowed to not only protect DACA recipients and their families but to “offer a roadmap to citizenship for Dreamers and all 11 million undocumented immigrants enriching our country.”
Biden ended his statement with hope, stating that if he is President, “Dreamers can make plans to prosper and thrive here in America, right where they belong.”
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