This past Wednesday, January 10th, a federal U.S. District Judge for the Northern California district, William Alsup, ordered the Trump administration to continue the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, in part. The court order has forced the White House to accept renewal applications, but new applications will still not be allowed.
Since the administration’s announcement in September that DACA would be coming to an end by early March of this year there has been a fierce battle in Washington over the program and what, if anything, would replace it.
DACA was created by former President Barack Obama through an executive order, which allows children brought to the United States illegally to remain in the country without fear of being deported and provides pathways to work and higher education. President Trump has been on a warpath to disassemble the actions of the previous administration, and many have noted that the DACA program could be used as leverage in discussions with Democrat lawmakers. A key campaign promise President Trump made leading up to the 2016 election was the construction of a wall on the southern border that the U.S shares with Mexico, which he believes will help curb illegal immigration. By “holding DACA hostage” the president is far more likely to get democrats to help pass legislation that would provide funding to build the wall.
When news of the Federal court order broke early Wednesday morning, many were thrilled, and saw it as a victory and a hit to the Trump administration’s goals. However, the administration plans to appeal the court and can simply find better justification for ending the program which currently serves between 700,000 and 800,000 immigrants, which was the judge’s chief complaint.
As far as talks with lawmakers over a potential congressional replacement for DACA go, the president had this to say on Twitter:
“DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military.”
Besides the wall, President Trump and many Republican lawmakers would like to see an end to several portions of the U.S’ current immigration process. Their largest issue is with “chain migration,” which lets citizens and permanent residents bring family members from other countries here more easily.
Democrats had hoped to add protection from deportation for “the dreamers” in a spending bill that must be passed by Friday the 19th if Congress wants to avoid another government shutdown. Though, with a Republican controlled Senate, House, and president whom has been less than sympathetic to their cause, it does not seem likely that the fix will happen any time soon.