DACA and the Trump administration
In 2012, the Barack Obama administration implemented Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This program offers protection from deportation to young immigrants, who came to the US without legal documentation when they were minors.
With this immigration program, they can apply for a work permit, study and many other benefits. Yet, even though DACA protects more than 600,000 people, it has been on the tightrope for the past several years due to the Trump administration’s stance when it comes to illegal immigration.
The current administration of the US states that the best alternative to curb illegal immigration is to remove options for undocumented foreigners to obtain employment permits or any other benefit. In its opinion, they should face deportation proceedings for violating local immigration law.
Thus, the legal battle and social controversy surrounding DACA seems endless. In fact, the US’ Supreme Court of Justice intervened and, in June 2020, ruled in favor of immigrants covered by this program and rejected the Trump administration’s request to remove it.
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The Trump administration’s latest action to remove DACA
It is important to clarify that the Supreme Court of Justice has the power to resolve legal issues or controversies that have not been resolved by lower courts since it is the highest court in the US and, therefore, leads the federal judicial system.
Following the Supreme Court verdict, the Trump administration, through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), implemented two rules for DACA, stating that these changes were temporary because it needed to review the Supreme Court decision in detail to fully follow its mandate.
The rules are:
- New DACA applications are currently not allowed.
- DACA recipients can apply for renewal only for 1 year, instead of 2 (as initially established by the Obama administration).
This decision caught the attention of dozens of critics and activists, who claim that the Trump administration violated the law by disobeying the Supreme Court verdict.
Judge states that DHS rules on DACA are invalid
On Saturday, November 14, 2020, a federal judge in New York stated that rules implemented by DHS on DACA, after the Supreme Court verdict, are invalid.
The judge states that the Acting Secretary of DHS, Chad Wolf, who issued the memorandum with DACA restrictions, did not follow the order of succession and, therefore, was unlawfully appointed, outside parameters established by the law to assume that position.
Since “DHS failed to follow the order of succession as it was lawfully designated,” all decisions made by Wolf are invalid, including the suspension of DACA.
Naturally, this is hopeful news for immigrants protected by DACA and those who are eligible, but who have not been able to apply due to the Trump administration’s insistence to remove it from programs offered to immigrants in the US.
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