White House officials have raised concerns that Donald Trump didn’t completely grasp the implications of ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program before he made a decision about its future.
Administration officials privately fretted that Mr Trump may have not understood exactly what effects rescinding DACA could have, according to a report from the New York Times.
Mr Trump’s administration has since then has attempted to cede responsibility for the policy, and said that it is now up to Congress to determine a legislative future for the program. Since its implementation in 2012, as many as 800,000 young undocumented immigrants in the US have applied for the protected status, which grants work visas to people who came to the United States illegally at a very young age.
“The program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday, announcing a six-month sunset for the program.
Mr Sessions indicated that the program would be phased out and that new applications from people hoping to become DACA recipients would not be taken going forward.
Mr Trump built his campaign in large part by taking a tough-on-illegal immigration stance that many in the Republican primary were hesitant to embrace. The President, during the campaign, promised mass deportations of individuals without legal status in the US — a group that includes an estimated 11 million people.
Deportation courts in the United States are already backlogged, however, and it is unclear if deporting that many people is even possible.
In the first six months of his presidency, Mr Trump’s administration issued 57,069 deportation orders, an increase of 31 per cent over the same period the year prior when Barack Obama was still in office. Of those, 16,058 people fought and won their immigration cases, or had them closed, which allowed them to stay in the United States.
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