Following an August 31st ruling by a federal judge in Texas not to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, immigrants who have qualified for DACA are being urged to renew their applications to stay in the country, even as uncertainty about DACA’s future remains. The Immigrant Legal Resource Center says the latest ruling by District Judge Andrew Hanen follows three previous judicial orders for the government to continue to accept DACA applications. While current DACA recipients can continue to renew their statuses, ILRC says the future of the program will remain murky until Congress can pass legislation addressing the issue.
A federal judge has ruled that the Trump administration’s ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was “arbitrary and capricious,” and the program should be restarted. NPR reports that US District Judge John D. Bates gave the administration 90 days to “better explain its view” that the DACA program is illegal. You can read Judge Bates’ decision here.
Over the weekend, President Donald Trump tweeted that there would be “NO MORE DACA DEAL” and blamed the failure on Democrats. At CNN, attorney Raul Reyes writes that Trump is ignorant of the nation’s immigration laws, pointing out that it was Trump himself who ended DACA in September of last year. Reyes says there has never been any realistic chance that a DACA deal could be struck. Read more about Reyes’ opinion at CNN.
The Washington Post also has analysis of Trump’s threats to DACA and how it reflects his presidency.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been in the news a lot lately, and not always in a good light. Does the US need a mass deportation strike force? A civil rights lawyer who’s running for Congress doesn’t think so. In an interview with The Nation, Dan Canon says he believes ICE should be abolished. “I don’t think a lot of people have any kind of direct experience with ICE, so they don’t really know what they do or what they’re about. If they did, they’d be appalled,” Canon told The Nation. He says ICE is “devoted almost solely to cruelly and wantonly breaking up families. The agency talks about, and treats, human beings like they’re animals.” Read more about Canon’s argument at The Nation.
Leezia Dhalla is a ‘dreamer,’ one of thousands of immigrants who were brought to this country as children. Her legal protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals run out in less than two months. She has lived in the US for 22 years, immigrating to Texas in 1996, but unless Congress does something soon to decide what will happen to her and other ‘dreamers,’ Dhalla will be forced to leave the nation she loves, as she told The Washington Post:
My employer will have to let me go; I won’t have a way to pay my rent; my family and friends will be inconsolable, knowing that I can be deported at any time. They’re the ones whose lives will be disrupted, alongside mine, if I’m deported to a country I barely remember. After 22 years of living the United States, my future — and the futures of about 800,000 young Americans like me — is in total limbo.
Dhalla says it’s an understatement to say that she and other ‘dreamers’ are disappointed in the lack of action by politicians to resolve the crisis. Read more about her personal story at The Washington Post.
The National Advocates member Garrett Wilkes helped one of his immigration clients win a one-year stay of deportation after he sought refuge in a Phoenix church. 30-year-old Jesus Armando Berrones-Balderas was granted the yearlong stay on a humanitarian basis. Wilkes says Berrones checked in regularly with Immigration and Customs Enforcement every six months until December. That’s when ICE agents told him he’d be deported in January. CNN has more on Berrones’ fight to stay in the US.
While a bipartisan bill introduced in Congress aims to address two of the more pressing issues on immigration, a path to citizenship for ‘dreamers’ and spending more on border security along the Mexican border with the US, the proposal may not have a good chance of getting President Trump’s signature. If Washington is unable to agree on a solution to the expiration of the DACA program in March, one immigration advocate is calling on cities, counties and states to find the courage to stand up to the Trump administration’s tougher policies and actions on immigration. Juan Escalante says with some states like Florida considering their own stricter immigration legislation, more states need to step up on behalf of dreamers like New York, New Jersey and California. You can read more in Escalante’s column at HuffPost.
A compromise plan on immigration that would affect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and border security has been unveiled by a bipartisan pair of House members, CNN reports. Texas Republican Will Hurd and California Democrat Pete Aguilar have been “quietly working for weeks” on the legislation, according to CNN. Both Representatives say they hope their proposal can speed up talks revolving around how to handle “Dreamers,” or young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children.
After the Trump administration ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in March, it said it would continue to process pending and renewal applications received through Thursday, October 4, according to the Los Angeles Times. With that deadline looming, law firms and legal clinics are scrambling to submit paperwork before time runs out. “We basically are in emergency mode,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights. Meanwhile, attorneys are warning their ‘dreamer’ clients to prepare for worst case scenarios. The ‘dreamer’ program was created by President Obama in 2012 to allow young immigrants brought to the US illegally to secure work permits and temporary reprieves from deportation.
President Trump has passed the buck to Congress on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or ‘dreamers’ program. Trump ordered a phase-out of the program over six months to give Congress time to find a solution. In this edition of “Can He Do That?” at The Washington Post, Allison Michaels and White House reporter David Nakamura talk to John Sandweg, former Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director, as well as a ‘dreamer’ in the DACA program. Listen to the podcast here.