The Slatest

Trump Set to Nix “Dreamers” Program, Give Congress Six Months to Act

Young immigrants and supporters walk holding signs during a rally in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in Los Angeles on Friday.

Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

It looks like President Donald Trump has decided to end the programs that give work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived to the United States as children. Everyone cautions that this being Trump, things could easily change. But for now at least the most likely scenario is that the president will announce the end of the Obama-era “Dreamers” program on Tuesday. The move would come with a six-month delay though, presumably giving enough time to allow Congress to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or at least some part of it.

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There are still lots of unknowns, like what would happen to people after that six-month window or whether beneficiaries of the program would be able to renew their protected status during that period. But delaying the end of DACA is at least supposed to be a nod to the increasing Republican objection to ending the program that protects almost 800,000 young men and women from deportation.

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Although Trump had vowed to end DACA during his campaign for the presidency, he has avoided taking action since taking office. He has even spoken very positively of “Dreamers” and been unusually honest about the difficulty of the decision, calling the issue “one of the most difficult subjects I have.” In the end though it seems the argument—pushed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions—that Congress is the one that should write immigration law won the day.

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Although some, like Politico, which first broke the story, seem fairly certain this is the path Trump will choose, others are much more cautious. The New York Times, for example, only goes as far as to say Trump is “strongly considering” the plan.

The decision would come as the administration faces a Tuesday deadline set by Republican state officials to file suit against the Trump administration to end the program. That in itself has put the Trump administration in a difficult position. “If it didn’t kill DACA, it would have to devote time, resources, and political capital to defending it in court,” explained Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern recently. “Republican voters would presumably not be happy to learn that Trump was sticking up for a policy that the party platform lambasted as unlawful.” And most of Trump’s top advisers believe the program would not hold up in court, notes the Washington Post.

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