The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] announced in a memorandum [text, PDF] on Thursday that it will keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) [materials] program in place for the foreseeable future. DACA allows for immigrants who came to the US as children, known as “Dreamers,” to obtain work permits and remain in the country legally. According to the New York Times [report], though, the White House and the DHS said Friday morning that the statements made regarding DACA were “intended only to clarify that immigrants enrolled in the DACA program would not immediately be affected by a separate action officially ending a similar program for the parents of those immigrants.” The same memorandum rescinds another Obama-era policy, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) [materials], which was designed to protect the immigrant parents of children who are US citizens or have permanent resident status. DAPA was never fully implemented [DHS fact sheet] because “federal courts halted the policy.” Rather than continue to defend it, the DHS formally rescinded the program.
President Donald Trump pledged to repeal DACA and DAPA during his 2016 campaign. As a result, both been contentious issues in recent months. In February John Kelly [official profile], Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), signed several memos [JURIST report] detailing plans to facilitate the detention and deportation of immigrants in the US illegally. In January DACA-protected Mitzie Perez and the California League of United Latin American Citizens filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against Wells Fargo alleging that the bank refused to extend Perez and other similarly situated students loans solely because of their immigration status. A Georgia state court refused to back down from its earlier ruling granting in-state tuition to Georgia university students protected by DACA. Also in January the US House of Representatives passed a funding bill [JURIST report] that included amendments designed to repeal key elements of DACA. A collection of mayors from major US cities, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, warned [JURIST report] then president-elect Trump in December about potential negative economic consequences of repealing DACA.