19 June, 2017
Former President Obama's unlawful action was meant to grant five million illegal aliens in the US lawful-presence status and allow them to apply for work permits. That program, called DAPA for short, was blocked by federal court order and never went into effect.
The DHS issued the guidance ahead of a court-ordered deadline in a lawsuit created to halt Obama's effort to expand the program to parents of Dreamers and people with green cards. However, on Friday afternoon, the Trump administration said a final decision on the sustenance of the program has not yet been reached.
Trump has made immigration enforcement a top priority and has vowed to continue a crackdown on those living in the USA illegally or trying to sneak into the country. The DAPA program could have afforded protection to about 3.6 million undocumented immigrants, according to the Migration Policy Institute. During last year's presidential campaign he had pledged to deport the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country and to end the Dreamers program. It was revoked five years to the day after President Barack Obama announced the protection efforts for young immigrants.
Some civil rights groups criticized the timing of Kelly's announcement, which coincided with the anniversary of Plyler v. Doe, the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared children are entitled to receive a free public K-12 education in the United States regardless of their immigration status.
The DACA program allows around 800,000 young people to live in the nation without fear of deportation.
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Though the Trump administration kept their promise on throwing out the Obama-era amnesty program, it has been less active in ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which essentially gives amnesty to young illegal aliens.
On Thursday, Secretary John Kelly of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an official memorandum rescinding DAPA. Arrests of immigrants inside the USA have increased under the Trump administration, but deportations are slightly down as fewer people have been caught crossing the Mexican border into the United States illegally.
"It's kind of a relief because my DACA expires next spring, so it was a huge concern, not knowing what was going to happen", said Michel Mora, 18, of Chicago, a rising sophomore at Knox College.
Upon taking office in January, Trump has been coy as to whether he would seek to remove "dreamers" from the U.S.