Trump to offer pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients
President Trump says that he will sign an executive order that includes DACA. This comes after losing a Supreme Court decision on the program in June.
In an interview with Jose Diaz Balart of Telemundo, President Donald Trump made a shocking revelation.
“I’m going to be over the next few weeks signing an immigration bill that a lot of people don’t know about … One of the aspects of the bill is going to be DACA. We’re going to have a road for citizenship,” Trump said in the interview.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program that went into effect under the Obama administration. It gives legal protections to work and seek higher education for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. at a young age.
As of March 2020, the program has helped 643,560 people across the country. They are referred to as DREAMers because of the DREAM Act, a bill that has never passed that would have granted legal status to undocumented people who arrived as children.
Trump’s new openness towards aspects of comprehensive immigration reform is surprising because it is reminiscent of the DREAM Act, which was embraced by his predecessor.
In the president's time in office so far, he has advocated for a wall along the southern border with Mexico, separated migrant children from their parents while holding them in cages, and tried to end the DACA program.
Trump has not only attacked undocumented children in the past, but he has also condemned U.S. children who were born to an undocumented parent by threatening revoke birthright citizenship, which is enshrined in the 14th amendment of the constitution.
“And the Democrats want to continue to give automatic birthright citizenship to every child born to an illegal alien… hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant children are made automatic citizens every year because of this crazy policy and they are all made instantly eligible for every privilege and benefit of American citizenship,” he said while campaigning for the 2018 midterm elections.
The president ordered a rescinding of DACA in September 2017 and the move was blocked by the lower courts, but eventually made it to the Supreme Court. Since 2017, the program has not accepted new applicants and was limited to renewals only.
On June 18, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Trump could not terminate the program based on the arguments he presented.
This was celebrated by DREAMers, but the ruling still left them in legal limbo because it did not give them a permanent solution. The president has said that he is going to resubmit paperwork to the Supreme Court to try to take the program down again.
His attempt to refile was met with backlash from the business community. A letter from the Coalition for the American Dream suggested that Trump should leave the program alone because of how integral DACA recipients have been in combating the COVID-19 crisis.
“DACA recipients have been critical members of our workforce, industries, and communities for years now, and they have abided by the laws and regulations of our country in order to maintain their DACA status,” members of the coalition wrote.
According to the American Medical Association 30,000 DACA recipients work as health care professionals across the country.
With the Trump administration contemplating a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, it seems that his efforts to end the program would be to force Congress to come to a bipartisan solution for the future of hundreds of thousands of people who have only known the U.S. to be their country.
It is still unclear whether the president aims to do this via an executive order or through introducing a bill.
What is clear is that the White House does not want the public to think that the proposal will go beyond DREAMers. White House spokesman Judd Deere said that this “does not include amnesty” for all undocumented immigrants.
Trump told Diaz Balart that he intends to introduce the new immigration plan in the next four weeks.