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
The Trump administration’s decision to strip legal protection from hundreds of Dreamers is cruel, immoral and unnecessary, former President Obama said in a scathing statement that called on Congress to restore the protections that he created through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“To target these young people is wrong — because they have done nothing wrong,” Obama’s statement said. “It is self-defeating — because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel. What if our kid’s science teacher, or our friendly neighbor turns out to be a Dreamer? Where are we supposed to send her? To a country she doesn’t know or remember, with a language she may not even speak?”
Obama challenged claims by the administration that the program was legally precarious. He said the move against DACA was not required by law. “It’s a political decision, and a moral question,” Obama said. And he warned the move will ultimately undermine the economy and the strength of the nation.
“Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us,” Obama said in the statement.
“Kicking them out won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes, or raise anybody’s wages.”
“Ultimately,” Obama's statement said, “this is about basic decency.”