November 12, 2019

The Supreme Court will hear 80 minutes of oral arguments Tuesday from defenders and opponents of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which shields about 660,000 immigrants who grew up in the U.S. from deportation. Texas and 12 other states are challenging the legality of the program, instituted by former President Barack Obama in 2012, but lower courts in California, New York, and Washington, D.C., have blocked President Trump's plans to end the program, citing Trump's violations of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Until the Supreme Court hands down its decision, the young immigrants — or DREAMers — already in the program can renew their 2-year work and residency permits but new DREAMers can't enroll in the program. One of the lawyers defending DACA at the Supreme Court is a DREAMer from Washington State. The lead advocate for the program on Tuesday will be famed litigator Theodore Olson, joined also by California's solicitor general. Peter Weber

November 5, 2018

While still waiting for a federal appeals court to rule on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Trump administration on Monday asked the Supreme Court to take up the case.

Enacted during the Obama era, DACA protects from deportation thousands of immigrants who arrived in the U.S. when they were young children. In court papers, Solicitor General Noel Francisco said the Obama administration introduced DACA "even though existing laws provided them no ability to do so," and the Department of Homeland Security now has the authority to "end the discretionary DACA policy." The Trump administration claims that because he bypassed Congress to launch DACA, Obama exceeded his constitutional powers.

Three different district courts have ruled that the government must continue to process renewals of DACA applications until there is a final ruling. Catherine Garcia

April 24, 2018

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John Bates rejected the Department of Homeland Security's legal reasoning for President Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

In his opinion, Bates, a Republican appointee to the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., said the Homeland Security Department "failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful." He gave the department three months to come up with a better reason for ending the program, and said if they couldn't do this, DACA would be restored. Bates said he found one argument, that conservative state attorneys general planned on suing to end DACA, "so implausible that it fails even under the deferential arbitrary and capricious standard."

In September, Trump announced he would wind down DACA by March 5, but the order has been challenged in court several times, and Bates is the third judge to rule against the administration. DACA, created by former President Barack Obama, protects certain undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation and makes them eligible for work permits. Catherine Garcia

April 1, 2018

President Trump on Twitter Sunday rescinded his unfulfilled offer to work across the aisle with Congress to pass a law formalizing protections for young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children:

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was implemented by the Obama administration via executive order in 2012. Trump rescinded it in September and gave Congress a deadline of March 5 to pass a DACA law. The deadline passed without a deal, though the issue is being litigated.

In a pair of follow-up tweets, Trump reiterated his desire to expand the wall along the southern border and claimed immigrants arriving illegally in the U.S. right now are trying to use DACA to stay in the country:

Contra Trump, immigrants who come to the U.S. in 2018 cannot avail themselves of DACA. As the website of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services details, DACA was limited to those who can demonstrate they were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012," came to the U.S. before they turned 16, have "continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time," and were "physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012." Bonnie Kristian

March 23, 2018

President Trump addressed recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program during his signing of the omnibus spending package Friday, telling young immigrants brought into America illegally as children: "The Republicans are with you."

Trump further insisted: "The Democrats fought us. They just fought every single inch of the way. They did not want DACA in this bill." He added that he wants "the Hispanic community to know and DACA recipients to know that Republicans are much more on your side than the Democrats, who are using you for their own purposes."

Trump announced in September that he would end DACA earlier this month, but a number of court rulings have blocked the president from successfully terminating the Obama-era protections. Jeva Lange

March 5, 2018

President Trump's March 5 deadline for phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program elapsed Monday with no resolution. DACA, which provides protections for young immigrants brought into America illegally as children, was supposed to terminate Monday after Trump announced he would end the program in September, but a number of court rulings have blocked Trump from ending the program.

Trump has blamed Democrats for having "totally forgotten about DACA." The national policy director for the ACLU, Faiz Shakir, expressed his own frustrations with Congress to NPR: "There's a concern that the March 5 deadline could die with a whimper rather than a bang," he said. "And by that I mean people might simply have forgotten that DREAMers were left in this state of limbo and no action was taken to save them."

Protests in support of the 700,000 DACA recipients are underway at the National Mall to mark the deadline:

"The calls for a fix stand in contrast with the lack of momentum for any progress in Washington, with little likelihood of that changing in the near future," CNN writes. "Congress has a few options lingering on the back burner, but none are showing signs of imminent movement." Jeva Lange

February 8, 2018

Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, known as DREAMers, who are serving in the military will not be deported, even if the program expires before Congress can come up with an immigration deal.

"We would always stand by one of our people," he said. Mattis' promise extends to DACA recipients who are on active duty, in the active reserves, veterans who were honorably discharged, and new troops who have signed contracts and are waiting to go to boot camp. It does not cover anyone who commits a serious felony, or apply if a judge has signed a final deportation order. "That would be a judicial action that obviously we obey in the court system," Mattis said. "We don't have veto authority over a court."

Mattis also said he confirmed with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in a phone call on Thursday that the protections for active service members and veterans are in place. President Trump announced last year he would be rescinding the Obama-era DACA program, and it's set to expire on March 5. Catherine Garcia

February 5, 2018

With a March 5 deadline looming for finding a legislative answer for people brought to the U.S. illegally as children, senators are reportedly considering a temporary fix that would put the issue off for another year, Politico reports. "That may be where we're headed because, you know, Congress is pretty dysfunctional," warned Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

On Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) plan to introduce bipartisan immigration legislation that would give Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients a pathway to citizenship, although Politico claims the approach is "unlikely to do the trick."

Still, with a temporary fix increasingly looking like the only realistic option, senators aren't happy: "I think that's a lazy way out of fixing a problem that we're on the brink of being able to fix," argued Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) while Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said "I'm a little concerned that if it's a very short-term fix that [DACA recipients are] still living in fear of what's gonna happen, rather than knowing that they can live in this country and work towards becoming a citizen, assuming they have a good record."

Last month, the government partially shut down after Democrats insisted they couldn't agree to a budget unless DACA was addressed. With the budget deadline coming up again on Thursday of this week, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told CNN's State of the Union: "I don't see a government shutdown coming, but I do see a promise by [Sen. Mitch] McConnell to finally bring this critical issue that affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in America, finally bringing it to a full debate. That's what we were looking for when there was a shutdown. We've achieved that goal, we're moving forward." Jeva Lange

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