Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions officially announced that the Trump Administration would end the DACA program which President Obama instated to protect approximately “800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation.”
This means that the Department of Homeland Security will no longer accept applications for the program beginning Tuesday and that the program would eventually be scrapped altogether.
The program began almost five years ago, giving protection to the nearly 1 million people who were brought here by their parents as minors, many of whom have started families, carreers or pursued advanced education under their protected status.
Trump called for Congress to correct the program Obama instated via execexecutive power. It was also announced that Trump’s administration would continue to renew current protection permits under DACA for the next six months, which gives Congress a window to take action on the issue.
Trump and Sessions reportedly believe that the program will not stand up in court when it is challenged by 10 conservative State Attorney Generals. “The Department of Justice cannot defend this overreach,” Sessions said in a statement. “There is nothing compassionate about the failure to enforce immigration laws.”
Trump also claimed the move would be done with the utmost “compassion” while maintaining his “America First” priority.
Former President Obama, however, had a different adjective for the move, calling it “cruel” in a long Facebook post reacting to the news Tuesday.
He argued that, while immigration is a complicated and controversial topic, that doesn’t mean we should threaten the future of “young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us.”
He also wrote: “What makes us American is not a question of what we look like, or where our names come from, or the way we pray. What makes us American is our fidelity to a set of ideals – that all of us are created equal.”
He then called on Congress to prevent the Trump Administration from dismantling DACA entirely.
The internet has been ablaze since rumors began circulating days ago that the Trump Administration was likely to end DACA. Apple’s Tim Cook made a statement on Twitter saying that he stands behind the hundreds of DACA members who are currently employed by Apple. Protests, demonstrations and messages of support have also ilutrated the unpopularity of the Trump Administration’s decision.
Some congress members have already responded. “Democratic Senate Whip Dick Durbin joined with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham to call for a DREAM Act, which offered legal status to undocumented immigrants in return for attending college or joining the military, passed in the month of September,” according to CNN.
Durbin said it was time for Congress to do something becase “we are no in a countdown to deportation.”
Graham added: “The reality of the situation is that these children basically have no place to go other than America. If there was ever a win-win in modern time, it would be the DREAM Act.”
Most Democrats have already vehemently opposed the decision by the Trump administration but it is still not clear what Congress will do in the time allotted. They have previously been unable to remove another of President Obama’s legacy-programs: The Affordable Care Act. With Trump’s popularity slipping and even less consensus on how immigration should be handled, there is a chance the president will be overruled. Time will tell.