On Thursday, a senior official in the Trump administration told Fox News that President Donald Trump intends to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, and is expected to make the announcement on Friday.
However, some are saying this decision was not necessarily the President’s preferred option — and that he was willing to keep DACA in exchange for congressional help on the border wall and his immigration agenda.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump promised to get tough on immigration by building a wall as well as end DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) and DACA. It was announced in June that the Trump administration would rescind DAPA, yet questions remained as to whether Trump would keep DACA in place.
According to the source, Trump will effectively end the Obama-era executive order, however, he’ll allow Dreamers currently in the program to stay in the country until their work permits expire, which for some could be up to two years.
Many Congressional members will ultimately blame President Trump for the decision, but they also share part of the blame.
According to White House officials, the Trump administration has been attempting to use DACA as a bargaining chip to strike an “ambitious deal” with Congress that offers Dreamers protection from deportation in exchange for funding the southern border wall as well as more detention facilities, curbing legal immigration via the RAISE Act, and implementing E-verify, where businesses gain online access to check on immigration statuses.
The two options on the table for members of Congress, according to sources, were to:
“1) keep DACA in place for six months to a year and have Congress pass a fix (perhaps as part of a larger border security bill), or 2) repeal DACA but allow continuation for work permits (so DREAMers can earn a living while Congress hammers out the details), and assign them a low deportation priority until Congress can pass a fix.”
Reports of this pending announcement could mean that Congress isn’t budging on giving the Trump administration what it wants, specifically when it comes to the border wall. It can certainly be implied that Trump is calling their bluff, and that Congressional Democrats and Republicans, who don’t want approximately 800,000 Dreamers deported, would come to the table to negotiate a bipartisan deal.
But it’s a sign, nonetheless, that opposing Trump’s agenda is backfiring big league on anti-Trump and #NeverTrump lawmakers. The Resistance (i.e. Anti-Trumpism) is seen as the new “cool,” and it’s leaving hundreds of thousands of young people vulnerable from deportation.
Update: Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration will be rescinding DACA and give time for Congress to act on immigration reform before it expires in March 2018.