President Donald Trump’s administration said Saturday that it will continue accepting renewal requests for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a decision that comes shortly after a federal court last week temporarily blocked the administration’s move to formally end the program.
Trump announced in early September 2016 that he was putting an end to the program, started under former President Barack Obama, that provides amnesty to roughly 690,000 illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. A federal judge in San Francisco put a temporary block on the president’s move Tuesday, ordering the administration to consider renewal applications from DACA recipients on Sept. 5 — the day Trump announced he was stopping DACA.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency responded to the judge’s ruling Saturday, announcing it will resume accepting DACA renewal requests at the behest of the federal court order.
“Due to a federal court order, USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA. Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017,” the agency said in a statement Saturday.
Trump’s decision to end DACA immediately became a talking point for congressional Democrats. The party is currently using the program as a political bargaining chip in Congress’s debate over the federal budget, demanding that any deal to keep the government funded must include protections for DACA recipients, also known as DREAMers.
A bipartisan group of senators struck a deal Wednesday that couples shielding DREAMers from deportation with a litany of conservative immigration reforms and border security funding, albeit a greatly reduced amount from the administration’s initial requests.
The senators’ proposal includes $2.7 billion for border security, $1.1. billion for security infrastructure, a 12-year pathway to citizenship for DREAMers and a few other provisions. The president is reportedly asking Congress for nearly $18 billion for the construction of his much promised border wall.
The administration, along with a number of conservative Republicans in Congress, are against the senators’ proposal.
Trump tweeted Sunday morning that his proposed immigration reforms are about making American “strong and great again.”
I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in through a system based on MERIT. No more Lotteries! #AMERICA FIRST
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2018
“I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in through a system based on MERIT. No more Lotteries!
#AMERICA FIRST,” the president tweeted Sunday.
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