Nearly 800,000 young immigrants in Georgia and across the nation are now slated for deportation with President Trump’s cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today (Sept. 5) the cancellation would take effect in sixth months.
Trump is dismantling a program, authorized under the Obama Administration in 2012. The program granted renewable, two-year work permits and deportation deferrals to immigrant children who were brought to the U.S. before they turned 16. The so-called “Dreamers” included immigrants who are attending school and those who had no felony convictions. As of March 31, federal records show that 24,135 people in Georgia have been approved under the program.
The program will be phased out under the Trump administration’s plans. The government added that it would not revoke benefits for those who have them now. But any new DACA applications filed after Sept. 5 will be rejected. The government, however, will consider renewal application requests from current DACA recipients whose benefits will expire by March 5, 2018, provided those applications are received by Oct. 5 of this year.
According to Sessions, “This policy was implemented unilaterally to great controversy and legal concern after Congress rejected legislative proposals to extend similar benefits on numerous occasions to the same group of illegal aliens.”
Sessions also told reporters in Washington D.C.: “In other words, the executive branch, through DACA, deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions. Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch.”
In a written statement, President Trump said that “I do not favor punishing children, most of them now adults, for the actions of their parents,” but “we must also recognize that we are a nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.”
The President added: “The legislative branch, not the executive branch, writes these laws.”