BREAKING NEWS: Trump Will Not Terminate DACA, For Now; Ultimate Fate Still Unknown
January 25, 2017
In a quite unexpected development, the new administration has indicated yesterday
that it will not immediately dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, former President Obama's immigration executive order put in place in 2012. Trumps' administration, through Press Secretary Sean Spicer, said that there are no immediate plans to undo DACA and that they will focus deportation efforts on "people who can do harm, or who have done harm, and have a criminal record." Additionally, Politico reports that a USCIS spokesperson confirmed: 'We are still accepting/processing DACA requests under existing policy.'
As we have explained in a previous blog, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") program has been a life changing benefit for many young undocumented immigrants in the United States. The most recent available reports indicate that approximately 750,000 people have been granted DACA since the program was created by President Obama in the summer of 2012. As every DACA recipient knows, however, the program's benefits are not permanent. After proving one meets the requirements—continuous physical presence since 2007, entry prior to the age 16, maximum age younger than 36, completion of or current work towards a high school diploma, and no significant criminal record—he or she must then apply to renew their work permit every two years.
As many remember, immigration was one of Mr. Trump's signature campaign issues and was expected to be a top priority for the new inauguration. Mr. Trump promised to roll back many of Obama's executive action programs that have shielded millions from deportation, including DACA.
Since publishing this blog, the new administration has issued a series of sweeping immigration-related executive orders addressing border security, increasing deportations, defunding "sanctuary cities", suspending the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry of nationals from certain countries for 90 days, and limiting refugees. In the light of these recent developments, we are cautiously optimistic on the future of DACA. We will continue to monitor the administration's actions as it relates to immigration and update you with additional information as soon as it is available.