Bad news for Obama's Dreamers: Trump administration is ending DACA

US President Trump has decided to rescind the DACA initiative- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals- approved by President Obama. The program allowed those who were brought to the US illegally as minors to obtain a work permit and evade deportation.
Trump rescinds DACA | Archive Photo Credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that President Trump has decided to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which protected the children of illegal immigrants from deportation. However, Sessions added that the decision will take effect in six months' time, during which Congress will be given the opportunity to propose alternative legislation on the subject.

The purpose of the plan, which Obama passed on presidential orders, was to protect residents brought illegally to the United States as children and who have lived in the US for so many years that returning them to their country of origin would be sending them to a completely unfamiliar place. The plan allowed these illegal minors to submit an application to postpone deportation and attain work permits. These applications- which included thorough background checks and a $500 fee- had to be renewed every two years. Over 740,000 people- or Dreamers- have been granted visas through the program.

Immigrants to be deported? Photo Credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

In a letter to Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke advising Homeland Security to rescind DACA, Sessions wrote that the program "was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch" and that "proper enforcement of our immigration laws is, as President Trump consistently said, critical to the national interest and to the restoration of the rule of law in our country."

Sessions has said that new applications to join the program will no longer be accepted and only those whose visas expire by March, 5 2018 will be able to submit renewal applications until October 5, 2017.

Many politicians criticized Trump's decision; Republican Senator John McCain said that eliminating DACA is the "wrong approach to immigration policy at a time when both sides of the aisle need to come together to reform our broken immigration system." Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted that "if Trump decides to end DACA, it will be one of the ugliest and cruelest decisions ever made by a president in our modern history."

According to Politico, Former President Barack Obama has promised to speak out should Trump decide to rescind the DACA initiative and make "efforts to round up kids who have grown up here and for all practical purposes are American kids, and send them someplace else, when they love this country."

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