Trump to Keep DACA Protections in Place to Review Court Decision, Reject New Applications
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will allow certain young, undocumented immigrants to renew deportation protections for one year as his administration reviews a Supreme Court decision that blocked his efforts to end a program designed to let them remain in the U.S.
The administration will maintain its limited implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — rejecting new applications and reviewing requests for renewal on a case-by-case basis, according to a senior administration official who spoke to reporters Tuesday on condition of anonymity. Renewals only will be granted for a one-year period.
The administration’s review is intended to prepare for a new attempt to end the program that shields from deportation and allows work permits for nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
Trump, who made cracking down on undocumented immigration a focus of his 2016 campaign, is trying to revive the issue as polls show him behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The decision to undertake a longer review of the Supreme Court decision ensures that the status of the young immigrants, known as Dreamers, will remain a central point of contention between Trump and Biden.
The move follows a Supreme Court ruling last month that blocked Trump from ending the Obama-era policy. The court found that the Trump administration didn’t follow the law in the way it announced in 2017 it was ending the DACA program.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal justices in the majority. Roberts said the Department of Homeland Security failed to consider “conspicuous issues,” including the hardship on DACA recipients and the possibility the agency could take a more limited step.
Democrats have sought to use Trump’s immigration crackdown to harness support among Latino voters and other immigrant groups. But by setting the stage to end the program, Trump is seeking to assuage immigration hardliners who are among his core supporters.
At the same time, Trump has said he would like to find a solution for the young immigrants protected by the program — a nod to its popularity.
A CBS News poll in June found a broad majority of Americans support the program’s underlying idea: 85% said they favor allowing undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to stay, including 73% of self-described Republicans.
The Supreme Court left open the possibility for Trump to attempt to terminate the program, ruling that the administration failed to meet requirements to ensure the action wasn’t “arbitrary and capricious.” The court didn’t say the DACA program was legal.
The Trump administration is set to file paperwork in a Maryland federal court on Tuesday clarifying its plan for DACA. The court ruled earlier this month that the administration must accept new DACA applications, but an official said it would not return the program to the pre-2017 status quo.
The administration released a memo outlining the changes and detailing how it will proceed with the review. Officials said the administration would examine its past handling of DACA, but didn’t say how long the review would last.
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