The White House has decided to roll back the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy with a six-month delay, according to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Current beneficiaries of the program will be able to maintain status until the six-month period is over, but the White House will not be accepting new applications from undocumented immigrants who would like to be shielded by the program.
The delay however gives Congress time to pass its own version of the program prior to its expiration date of March 5, 2018. UT System Chancellor William McRaven said in a statement the University’s system schools will continue to follow the law and that Congress must act now to ensure DACA recipients have a “bridge” for them to remain in the U.S. and become citizens.
“(DACA recipients) can be certain of our support as you continue to pursue your dreams – the American dream – to obtain an education and build a better future for you and your families,” McRaven said. “As UT adheres to federal and state laws regarding immigration, rest assured our campuses will remain places where you can safely study as Congress takes up this issue.”
Today was also the deadline Trump had been given to rescind the program or risk being sued by a group of 10 states led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
DACA allows so-called “Dreamers,” or individuals who were brought to the U.S. illegally as minors, to defer deportation for two years. Close to 800,000 undocumented immigrants currently hold immigration status under the program.
To be a DACA recipient, the applicant must have been brought to the U.S. illegally before they turned 16, and they cannot be older than 30. Also, they must have been residing in the U.S. since on or before June 15, 2007.
One criticism of the policy, an executive order created by former president Barack Obama in 2012, is it does not actually provide a path to citizenship or legal residency. This leaves DACA recipients in limbo as they perpetually apply to have their deportation deferral renewed every two years.
Trump has spent the early months of his presidency wavering on whether or not to rescind the program. During his campaign, he called the program illegal “amnesty” but has since said DACA recipients could “rest easy.” In Congress, U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said Trump should end DACA to allow Congress to pass its own legislation.