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Trump Ends Obama Administration's Program Protecting Undocumented Parents Of U.S. Citizen Children

An Obama administration policy that shielded some undocumented immigrants from deportation will soon end, the White House told reporters this week.

The Daily Mail explained that under the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, the parents of children born in the United States were allowed to remain in the country. Those who came to America as children are often referred to as “dreamers,” a reference to the DREAM Act. Despite the Obama administration’s argument that immigrant families should be kept together, DAPA was blocked by a lawsuit that officials in 26 states filed in a federal district court in Texas. A tied, 4-4, vote in the Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s ruling in favor of the plaintiffs.

Nearly 4 million undocumented parents of legal U.S. citizens will be at heightened risk of deportation as a result of the decision by the Homeland Security and Justice departments. “There is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy,” DHS Secretary John Kelly said. He did not reveal whether authorities will replace DAPA or simply repeal it, according to the Daily Mail.

The cabinet official suggested the administration will continue to observe another Obama-era immigration program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The policy permits those who came to the United States as undocumented children to remain in the country if they are working or going to school. They must apply for renewals of their status every two years. One million to 2 million young people are affected.

The New York Post noted that Trump promised his supporters on the campaign trail that he would end DAPA. The proposal was part of the Republican candidate’s controversial anti-immigration position. He also called for banning all Muslim immigrants, conducting surveillance at U.S. mosques and creating a national database to monitor Muslim-Americans. As part of his crusade against illegal immigration, Trump has ordered more deportation raids. The law-enforcement effort, which initially targeted criminals, has since expanded to include law-abiding foreigners.

Many Republicans agree with Trump regarding DAPA. They call the program “backdoor amnesty” for “illegal aliens,” and accuse Obama of having exceeded his presidential authority when he established the policy in 2014. DAPA supporters point out that the program requires young immigrants to avoid criminal records and meet other requirements. The participants receive work permits that must be renewed every three years.

CNN reported that DAPA advocates were quick to criticize the policy change. Thomas Saenz of the Latino civil-rights group MALDEF declared in a written statement: “Demonstrating its characteristic obtuseness with respect to civil-rights history, the Trump administration chose the 35th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Plyler v. Doe, a singular achievement for immigrants’ rights, as the day to rescind the 2014 initiative … which would protect from removal millions of immigrant parents raising children in the U.S.”

Chris Chmielenski of NumbersUSA director told CNN: “Although this unconstitutional executive amnesty had been temporarily blocked by the courts, it threatened to issue 5 million new work permits to illegal aliens who would mostly compete with low-skilled American workers who still face double-digit unemployment rates and declining wages.”

Source: Daily Mail
Photo: 123RF, Flickr/Gage Skidmore

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