Is Trump Going to Cancel DACA or Not?

Mark Krikorian, National Review, January 23, 2017

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What I did not expect was for Trump to break an explicit promise regarding his headline issue on the administration’s first business day in office. But that may be what’s happened.

Point Number Five in Trump’s August Phoenix immigration speech was not ambiguous: “We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties, in which he defied federal law and the constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants.” Those two illegal amnesties are DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—for illegals who came as kids, often called “Dreamers”) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents). Only DACA actually went into effect; DAPA is held up in the courts. So the number of illegals whom Obama was actually able to lawlessly amnesty—providing them with work permits, Social Security numbers, access to the EITC welfare program and state driver’s licenses—was “only” about 750,000.

“Immediately terminating” the program wouldn’t necessarily have required an executive order, at least not on Day One. Nor would it require rounding up and deporting the DACAs; ICE has enough to do trying to restart deportation of the drunk drivers and wife-beaters Obama let go to worry about DACAs who aren’t involved in violent crimes.

But U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which handles the two-year, renewable amnesty program, could easily have been instructed to suspend processing of DACA applications—both for renewals and first-time applicants—until further notice.

That hasn’t happened, at least not yet. In response to an inquiry from me earlier today, USCIS spokesman Steve Blando e-mailed me the following: “We are still accepting/processing DACA requests under existing policy.” {snip}

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Despite the fact that suspending the DACA program would simply require a memo to USCIS, it’s at least possible that this is a snafu; there wasn’t much of a campaign infrastructure or a government-in-waiting, so the transition team had a heck of a time preparing for January 20. Maybe the memo to halt DACA is stuck in someone’s in-box. {snip}

On the other hand, it could be that the Priebus faction won out over the Bannon faction and there was a conscious decision to betray the immigration hawks who put Trump in the White House. Reince Priebus yesterday, and Sean Spicer today, hinted pretty strongly that the administration has decided to abandon its explicit commitment to halt DACA. Spicer said the administration’s focus would be on “people who can do harm, or who have done harm, and have a criminal record.” But this is a non sequitur. Ending DACA isn’t about deporting the illegals covered by Obama’s lawless decree; it’s not even about canceling all their work permits. Rather, the program should be stopped, so no new or renewed work permits are issued, and the ones outstanding should simply be permitted to expire at their scheduled times. {snip}

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