After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump Administration didn’t have sufficient reason to end the Deferred Action Program (DACA), President Donald Trump has sought to circumvent the law again.
According to Reuters, a senior administration official said the government would reject any new applications and shorten deportation protections for those whose eligibility is about to expire, while a “lengthy review” of the Court’s ruling is underway.
In the middle of an election campaign with all odds against him, the U.S. president seems willing to do anything to narrow the gap between him and Vice President Joe Biden in the polls.
Asked at a news conference on Tuesday whether he was still considering a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, Trump said: “We are going to make … the DACA people and representatives happy, and we’re also going to end up with a fantastic merit-based immigration system.”
Meanwhile, his decision to defy an order from the highest legislative body in the country is the latest evidence of his disregard for the law and his comfort in seeking morally questionable routes into politics.
Since 2017, Donald Trump has been trying to end the Obama-era program that protects nearly 700,000 undocumented youth from deportation and guarantees them access to education and work permits. After months of fierce legal battles, the Supreme Court finally decided that the administration’s actions were “arbitrary and capricious” under federal law, thus nullifying the repeal of the program.
As Slate explained, District Judge Paul Grimm forced the administration to restore DACA to its pre-revocation status, requiring the Department of Homeland Security to allow beneficiaries to renew their status for two years, accept new applicants and restore “early parole” that will enable them to travel outside the country.
However, DHS refused to comply with the court order and announced that it would reject new DACA applicants, deny renewals, and not reinstate early parole.
Faced with Grimm’s claim that the government would be “ignoring the binding decisions” of the Supreme Court, the Justice Department lawyers argued that the applications were simply “on hold.”
On Tuesday, acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said he would not accept new applications and would only grant one-year extensions to existing recipients “on a case-by-case basis.”
The move is expected to spur a new round of legal challenges, with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra releasing a statement saying he “will be ready,” Buzzfeed explained.
“The courts have spoken: DACA is in full effect, including for new applications,” Becerra said. “We are ready if the Trump administration tries to block or dismantle DACA. We know what it takes to defend DACA — we’ve done it before, and we’ll do it again if necessary.”