The Department of Homeland Security has no intention to extend the renewal date for an executive amnesty program that shields younger illegal immigrants from deportation, a Trump administration lawyer confirmed Tuesday.
The government will keep in place the Oct. 5 deadline for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to renew their status, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brett Shumate told a federal judge, CNN reported Tuesday.
Program participants whose deferred action status expires before March 6 have until Oct. 5 to update their status for a two-year period. People with status expiration dates of March 6 or later cannot apply for renewal under the time frame laid out by the Department of Homeland Security and following President Donald Trump’s decision to end DACA.
Shumate’s confirmation came in response to questions from U.S. Federal District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, who is presiding over a lawsuit challenging the government’s decision to end DACA. The administration should give DACA recipients more time to renew their status while Congress works out a legislative solution, Garaufis said in a hearing earlier this month.
During that hearing, Shumate told the court that DHS would consider an extension due to the disruption caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. These hurricanes might have prevented DACA recipients in the affected areas from renewing on time. The agency would “evaluate the impact on recipients living in the hurricane-affected areas,” but the Oct. 5 deadline was still in effect, a DHS spokesman told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
DHS decided to go ahead with the original deadline, Shumate said at a Tuesday hearing.
Garaufis said he’d “never seen a circumstance like this” and called the administration “heartless” for not giving DACA recipients more time to submit renewal applications.
“You can’t come into court and espouse a position that’s heartless,” Garaufis said to Shumate in court, according to CNN. “It’s unacceptable to me as a human being and as a person. I’m glad I was born in Paterson, New Jersey and not Mexico City.”
The White House is working with Congress to craft a bill that would give DACA recipients a permanent legal status in exchange for enhanced border security and reforms to immigration law. Earlier this month, top Democratic lawmakers said they had reached a deal with Trump on a standalone DACA bill, but the White House subsequently denied that had agreed. (RELATED: More DACA Confusion: Trump Says No Citizenship For ‘Dreamers’)
Both the White House and congressional Republicans say tougher immigration enforcement measures will have to be attached to any DACA amnesty legislation, but there is significant disagreement among GOP lawmakers over what specific reforms should be included.
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