Trump administration to review DACA and reject new applications

(CNN) The Trump administration will not accept new applications for the Obama-era program that shields from deportation certain undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children and will limit renewals to one year instead of two while it reviews the program, the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday.

The announcement, which comes more than a month after the Supreme Court blocked President Donald Trump’s attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, seems intended to buy time while the administration decides its next steps.Trump has repeatedly railed against DACA as part of his anti-immigration agenda but three years into his administration has been unable to end the program as promised following a series of lawsuits. The latest attempt to place limits on the program in the run up to the 2020 election is likely to fuel uncertainty in the lives of thousands of immigrants who are beneficiaries of the program or planned to apply for it.The move is certain to face legal challenges. A federal judge had said earlier this month that the administration must begin to accept new applications for DACA.”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 effects the program has on what I call ‘immigration behavior,’ including smuggling and illegal crossings,” a senior administration official told reporters.The White House arranged a phone briefing with reporters under the condition the official be granted anonymity.”When the administration next acts on DACA, it will be the basis of the comprehensive review of the substantive legal and legal policy justifications offered for winding down the program,” the official added.In the meantime, the administration will reject all initial requests and application fees for new filings “without prejudice” to future applications.The administration will adjudicate all applications for renewal on a “case-by-case basis” consistent with immigration law, but will provide renewals for one year, rather than the current two years. And all applications for advanced parole “will be rejected absent extraordinary circumstances”In a 5-4 ruling in June, the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to terminate DACA, a program established in 2012 that protects undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children from deportation and allows them to work in the US.The delay has since left thousands of immigrants who are eligible for the program in limbo and has sparked outrage among lawyers who allege the government is defying court orders.Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf detailed the changes in a memo released Tuesday. It’s the third memo the Trump administration has issued in an attempt to rescind the program, though Wolf stopped short of terminating it altogether for now.”I have concluded that the DACA policy, at a minimum, presents serious policy concerns that may warrant its full rescission,” Wolf wrote, adding that the onus remains on Congress to act.Wolf justified the decision to reject new applicants by arguing that any reasons to keep the program are “significantly lessened, if not entirely lacking” with regard to people not already enrolled.Read the entire article here:

Priscilla Alvarez and Geneva Sands