In a press briefing at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today the Trump administration’s decision’s to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program – an Obama-era executive action that granted temporary reprieve from deportation and two-year work permits to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States when they were children. The head of the DOJ emphasized that DACA was an “executive overreach” and a “circumvention of legislative process”, necessitating the program’s rescission.
According to Attorney General Sessions, the DOJ has advised the executive branch and specifically DHS to begin the “orderly wind-down” of the DACA program, beginning with the rescission of the 2012 DHS memo that first introduced the program. However, Attorney General Sessions did not offer specifics regarding the administration’s deportation policy towards the current DACA beneficiaries or a timeline for the “wind-down” process. As of this writing, DHS has not published a press release or other information as well.
The Trump administration shifted the onus to Congress to create a legislative solution to fill the void the rescission of DACA will leave behind. By initiating an orderly wind-down of the DACA program, DHS is creating a time period for Congress to act “if they so choose,” according to Attorney General Sessions.
DACA was announced on June 15, 2012 by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and today benefits approximately 800,000 beneficiaries known colloquially as “Dreamers”. DACA was a signature program of the previous Obama administration undertaken in response to Congress’ failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform. In November of 2014, President Obama announced an expansion of the DACA program to cover parents of U.S. citizen children. This executive action called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) was enjoined by federal courts in early 2015 before it could even be implemented.
CPG Immigration Law Group will continue to monitor this development and post important updates. Please contact our office with any questions.