Renewals also limited to one year even as Trump renews promise to make DACA people happy.
Even as President Donald Trump again promised to make 700,000 Dreamers happy, his administration made clear it will not accept new applications for the Obama-era program that shields them from deportation.
It will also limit renewals to one year instead of two while it reviews the program for these undocumented immigrants, including some 4,500 South Asians, who came to the US as children, the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday
The announcement comes more than a month after the Supreme Court blocked Trump’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).
Trump claimed at a news briefing that he’s “going to work with a lot of people on DACA,” when asked about Tuesday’s announcement.
“We are going to make DACA happy and the DACA people and representatives happy and we’re also going to end up with a fantastic merit-based immigration system,” Trump said, according to CNN.
But the decision outlined by the administration Tuesday would place limits on people already in the program and exclude those who may be eligible but have not yet applied.
The move is certain to face legal challenges. A federal judge had said earlier this month that the administration must begin to accept new applications for DACA.
“The administration is now undertaking a comprehensive review of the DACA program and the justifications that have been offered for winding DACA down,” a senior administration official told reporters in a telephonic briefing.
The review will “include its illegality and the negative effects the program has on what I call ‘immigration behavior,’ including smuggling and illegal crossings.”
“When the administration next acts on DACA, it will be the basis of the comprehensive review of the substantive legal and legal policy justifications offered for winding down the program,” the official added.
In the meantime, the administration will reject all initial requests and application fees for new filings “without prejudice” to future applications.
The administration will adjudicate all applications for renewal on a “case-by-case basis” consistent with immigration law, but will provide renewals for one year, rather than the current two years.
And all applications for advanced parole “will be rejected absent extraordinary circumstances.”
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf detailed the changes in a memo released Tuesday.
“I have concluded that the DACA policy, at a minimum, presents serious policy concerns that may warrant its full rescission,” Wolf wrote, adding that the onus remains on Congress to act.
Wolf justified the decision to reject new applicants by arguing that any reasons to keep the program are “significantly lessened, if not entirely lacking” with regard to people not already enrolled.
Federal Court orders USCIS to accept new DACA applications (July 18, 2020)
Kamala Harris asks Trump to honor Supreme Court’s DACA ruling (July 17, 2020)