The head of the Department of Homeland Security said that the Trump administration is determined to end DACA within the next 6 months. The acting Secretary Chad Wolf made extensive comments on the program during various Sunday talk shows today.
The Deferred Action on Childhood Arrival program allowed young children brought to the country illegally, at a very young age and through no fault of their own, to be shielded from deportation as long as they fulfilled employment and other legal requirements. It was created by an executive order issued by President Barack Obama back in 2012. President Trump rescinded that order with one of his own in September 2017. Several lawsuits were brought against the administration challenging Mr. Trump’s authority to do so.
The Supreme Court this week found for the plaintives in those cases, saying Mr. Trump did not have the authority to rescind the program simply through an executive order. But they found only that the Trump administration did not adequately justify the termination of the program, in what amounted to a judgement based on procedure. That finding, not on the merits of the case, allows the Trump administration to repeat terminating the program.
“At no point in that decision did they say that the program was lawful. They simply didn’t like the rationale and the procedures that we used,” Wolf said on NBC’s Meet the Press today.
Wolf said that the visa-renewal process for DACA recipients would continue in the meantime.
President Trump has repeatedly signaled support for a permanent solution on the program, even going so far to call for a pathway to citizenship for up to 1.8 million illegal immigrants under DACA back in 2018.
Democrats have repeatedly refused to reach compromise on the issue however, citing the fact that in exchange for a permanent solution on DACA, President Trump often insists on funding for a security wall to be built along the U.S.’ southern border.
Asked if the Supreme Court’s decision meant that the administration would work through Congress to permanently end the program instead of retrying the executive-order route, Wolf demurred. “I’m not going to get ahead in front of the president. He’s going to make that decision at the right time, but the department will be ready to make that call,” he said.
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