‘Just hate’ and ‘blatantly illegal’: Activists blast new DHS guidelines on DACA, denying new applications and limiting extensions
New Department of Homeland Security guidelines on enforcing DACA, a controversial Obama-era executive policy on illegal immigrants brought to the US as children, have Democrats and amnesty activists crying foul.
All new DACA applications will be rejected, along with new and pending requests for travel documents, while existing DACA recipients will be given one-year extensions of their status, acting DHS chief Chad Wolf said in a memorandum made public on Tuesday. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a 2012 executive program that shields recipients from getting deported from the US.
The new guidelines were put together out of concern, among other things, that the existence of a program like this “may send mixed messages” about DHS consistently enforcing immigration laws and encourage people to illegally immigrate to the US, “needlessly endangering children,” Wolf wrote.
NEW: Trump will reject all initial requests for #DACA and limit renewals to 1 year. Right now is 2.Let's be clear on this. There is absolutely no reason for this. Nothing. Not a legal reason. Not a political reason. Just hate. Cruelty is the point. https://t.co/7Wx4yJepnZ— Erika Andiola (@ErikaAndiola) July 28, 2020
Erika Andiola, a DACA recipient who advised Sen. Bernie Sanders during his campaign for the Democrat presidential nomination, disagreed. There was “absolutely no reason” for Wolf’s changes, she declared, adding they were motivated only by “hate.”
“Cruelty is the point,” Andiola tweeted.
The American Civil Liberties Union chimed in by declaring the DHS guidelines “patently illegal” and demanding that the agency must accept both new DACA applications and extend the current status by two years as is customary.
“Anything less is in defiance of the Supreme Court,” the ACLU insisted.
This is patently illegal. The Trump administration must accept new DACA-applications AND extend legal protection for the full two years. Anything less is in defiance of the Supreme Court. https://t.co/RRYomLiJRj— ACLU (@ACLU) July 28, 2020
Last month, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the four liberal justices in ruling that the decision to rescind the 2012 program was not adequately explained under the Administrative Procedures Act.
However, the court conceded the DHS and the Trump administration had authority under the constitution to amend or abolish the program, which was established by an executive order of President Barack Obama, rather than an act of Congress. This is reflected in Wolf’s memo, which supersedes the 2017 and 2018 documents that ended up before SCOTUS and outlines enforcement measures pending the final decision on DACA.
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President Donald Trump has argued that he has every right to revoke DACA, as it was an executive program that usurped the powers of Congress. He has gone so far as to offer amnesty to DACA recipients as part of a broader immigration reform bill. Discussions on this broke down in January 2018, when Democrats walked away following a federal judge’s decision in favor of activists seeking to block the DHS from rescinding DACA.
The Democrats’ proposal, called the DREAM Act, would give the children brought into the US illegally a path to citizenship and allow their families to become legal citizens as well.
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