Dreamers who fall under the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals program can breathe a sigh of relief. Donald Trump reversed his campaign pledge to end it and deport young immigrants. In a press release, Homeland Security Director John Kelly said, “The June 15, 2012 memorandum (by President Obama) that created the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will remain in effect.
But the good news came at the end of a news release describing a memo rescinding Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Residents (DAPA). That program, created by President Obama on November 20, 2014, gave immigrants whose children have legal status in the U.S. the opportunity to come out of the shadows, get work permits and apply for legal employment.
The Trump administration action officially killed that program. But it never went into effect because legal challenges from 26 states held up its implementation and the Supreme Court allowed a Texas federal judge’s order against it to remain in place.
Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said, “After months of senseless and cruel threats, the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to maintain DACA is a huge victory for the 800,000 young people who grew up in this country and have legal permission to live here. Now we need a comprehensive and efficient pathway to citizenship for DREAMers free from needless government red tape.”
But Choi also acknowledge the dissolution of the program for parents. He said, “Although the administration has disappointingly abandoned DAPA, this is an important acknowledgement of the values that truly make America great: opportunity and justice for all.”
The bottom line is that with DACA in place, young undocumented immigrants can continue to apply for Deferred Action and get the benefit of a legally sanctioned existence in the U.S.