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Trump puts DACA applications on pause, reviews SCOTUS ruling

Promising to create an immigration system based on “merit,” the Trump administration said today that it will no longer accept applications for the DACA immigration program. Instead, the program will go under review with an eye toward ending the program.

“A senior administration official said there would be a lengthy review of a Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling last month that found the administration had erred in the way that it had decided to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, in which some 644,000 immigrants are enrolled,” says Reuters.

Often called “Dreamers,” the program stops people who as children who were brought into the U.S. illegally from being deported and instead gives them a path to citizenship. Previously, the administration said it would end the program, but a challenge in court led to last month’s SCOTUS decision.

When asked if the administration expects court challenges to its latest review, a senior administration official said “Of course.”

The review period, says Reuters, will last at least 100 days, which will postpone any decision on ending the program until after the November general election.

While liberals have said that the administration is bound by the Supreme Court decision to keep accepting applications for the DACA program, the Trump White House stopped taking applications in 2017 shortly after Trump took office. That policy has not been challenged in court.

“These actions will limit the scope of the program while DHS and the administration review its legality, justifications for a possible wind-down and other considerations relevant to deciding whether to keep or wind down the DACA policy,” the official told Reuters.

However, acting head of Homeland Security (DHS) says that the DACA program sends mixed messages about the enforcement of laws in the U.S.  

“DACA makes clear that, for certain large classes of individuals, DHS will at least tolerate, if not affirmatively sanction, their ongoing violation of the immigration laws.”

Liberals are alarmed by the get-tough talk on immigration even though the administration is trying to soothe them.

“The reduction of the program by the administration will disqualify some DACA beneficiaries who have participated in the program for years,” said Beth Werlin, executive director of the American Immigration Council. “Some DREAMers will be forced to become unemployed, including some who are at the forefront of our fight against the coronavirus,” she added according to NBC News.

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