President Donald Trump on Tuesday rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, announcing his administration would begin phasing out the program over six months to give Congress time to enact a legislative solution for the 800,000 young immigrants it protects from deportation.
If Congress is unable to agree on a solution, some DACA recipients will begin losing their authorization to work in the United States legally within six months — on March 6, 2018.
According to a statement released by Trump on Tuesday, new DACA applications are no longer being accepted. The government will, however, continue to process applications that have already been submitted. All existing DACA permits will be honored until their expiration date, up to two full years from Tuesday, the statement added.
Renewal applications will also be processed for those DACA recipients whose permits are “facing near-term expiration.”
US Citizenship and Immigration Services said DACA recipients whose permits expire before March 5, 2018, would be allowed to apply for renewal — they must do so before October 5, 2017, however.
“Thus, in effect, I am not going to just cut DACA off, but rather provide a window of opportunity for Congress to finally act,” Trump said in the statement.
Addressing the widespread concerns that DACA recipients with expired permits will now be vulnerable to deportation, Trump said in the statement that DACA recipients “are not enforcement priorities unless they are criminals, are involved in criminal activity, or are members of a gang.”
“Our enforcement priorities remain unchanged. We are focused on criminals, security threats, recent border-crossers, visa overstays, and repeat violators,” he said.
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