A program that temporarily shields hundreds of thousands of young people from deportation was scheduled to end yesterday but court orders have forced the Trump administration to keep issuing renewals. That removed some of the urgency of a hard deadline, but advocates weren’t letting up in their efforts to get permanent protection.
In September, Trump said he was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program but gave Congress six months to develop a legislative fix. Those whose permits expired by March 5 had one month to apply for renewal.
A nationwide injunction in January by US District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco required the administration to resume renewals but does not apply to first-time applicants.
President Barack Obama introduced DACA in June 2012 by executive action, giving hundreds of thousands of people who came to the country illegally as children two-year, renewable permits to live and work.
To qualify, they needed to have arrived before their 16th birthday, been under 31 in June 2012, completed high school or served in the military, and have clean criminal records.
Nearly 683,000 people were enrolled at the end of January, eight out of every 10 from Mexico.
Courts have removed much of the urgency, but DACA recipients whose applications are pending are at risk until their petitions are granted.
Former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, now Trump’s chief of staff, last year scrapped the Obama administration’s policy of limiting deportations to people who pose a public safety threat, convicted criminals and those who have crossed the border recently, effectively making anyone in the country illegally vulnerable.