Trump administration to wind down DACA program for ‘dreamers’

The Trump administration will begin “winding down” an Obama-era program that offers temporary deportation protection and work permits to immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who made the announcement, said winding down the program will give Congress a chance “if it so chooses” to find a permanent solution for the nearly 800,000 “dreamers” currently covered under the program, including nearly 28,000 in Arizona. In directing the Department of Homeland Security to rescind the program, Sessions called the policy of granting deportation deferments and work permits to dreamers an unconstitutional circumvention of immigration law that would likely not survive a looming legal challenge. He also blamed the program for contributing to a recent surge in unaccompanied minors arriving at the southern border that “yielded terrible humanitarian consequences.” “This policy was implemented unilaterally to great controversy and legal concern after Congress rejected legislative proposals to extend similar benefits on numerous occasions to this same group of illegal aliens,” Sessions said. Sessions said it would now be up to Congress to decide whether to make changes to immigration law to give dreamers the opportunity to legalize their status. But such politically charged legislation faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Congress, and without a legislative fix, dreamers will soon lose the ability to work legally in the U.S. and be vulnerable to deportation. The loss of work permits also means that dreamers will soon no longer be eligible for driver’s licenses in Arizona or for in-state tuition. Trump said in a… [Read full story]

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