Young people shielded from deportation and allowed to work legally under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will begin losing their protection next March unless Congress acts before then, the Trump administration announced on Sept. 5.
Congress' top two Democrats announced Wednesday night that a deal had been reached to help so-called Dreamers, but President Trump denied a final agreement was made concerning the young immigrants.
Here's what you need to know:
- The administration will renew two-year work permits as they expire but will stop accepting new applications.
- The program will not be fully phased out until March 2020.
- Tossing the issue to Congress could create a serious split among Republican lawmakers.
- Here's how Gov. Brown and California lawmakers will seek to blunt the effort to end DACA
- Are you a DACA participant? We want to hear from you
- Read the full statement from Trump on ending DACA | Read former President Obama's response
- Times editorial: Ending DACA was an act of pure cruelty by Trump
- Watch: What is DACA?
- Photos: Activists across U.S. rally in support of DACA
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) signaled Tuesday that she believes former President Obama’s executive order to protect young immigrants who were brought into the U.S. as minors was on shaky legal ground, and said that is why Congress must act.
Feinstein was asked about the legality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program during an appearance on MSNBC.
“DACA was executive order. Legal is the law of passage of something,” Feinstein responded. “You know there are 10 attorneys general that are prepared to sue. I don’t want to get into that. The point is DACA is here and we’ve got 800,000 young people who depend on this.”
“Meet the Press Daily” host Chuck Todd said that Feinstein’s answer implied that the program was “on shaky legal ground.”
“It is," Feinstein responded. "That’s why we need to pass a law, and we should do it.”
The Democrat's words questioning the legality of the DACA program seemed to echo U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions' explanation for why the Trump administration was phasing it out, saying that Obama had exceeded his legal authority.
Feinstein's remarks are likely to fuel criticism among the most liberal members of her party, some of whom have said that she has grown out of touch with her constituents as she ponders whether to seek a sixth term next year. Feinstein set off a furor last week when she declined to call for President Trump's impeachment and urged “patience” over his presidency.
After this item was published, a spokeswoman for Feinstein emailed to clarify that the senator was “obviously” referring to the legal threat posed by the lawsuit that the state attorneys general were threatening.
Updated at 4:45 p.m.: This post was updated to add a comment from Feinstein's office.