Eliana Johnson reports for Politico:
President Donald Trump has decided to end the Obama-era program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children, according to two sources familiar with his thinking. Senior White House aides huddled Sunday afternoon to discuss the rollout of a decision likely to ignite a political firestorm — and fulfill one of the president’s core campaign promises.
Trump has wrestled for months with whether to do away with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA. He has faced strong warnings from members of his own party not to scrap the program and struggled with his own misgivings about targeting minors for deportation.
Conversations with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who argued that Congress — rather than the executive branch — is responsible for writing immigration law, helped persuade the president to terminate the program, the two sources said, though White House aides caution that — as with everything in the Trump White House — nothing is set in stone until an official announcement has been made.
In a nod to reservations held by many lawmakers, the White House plans to delay the enforcement of the president’s decision for six months, giving Congress a window to act, according to one White House official. But a senior White House aide said that chief of staff John Kelly, who has been running the West Wing policy process on the issue, “thinks Congress should’ve gotten its act together a lot longer ago.”
Read the complete article at the link.
This could be one of Trump’s shrewder political moves. He doesn’t really have to do anything right now, while getting the issue off his desk and putting pressure on the Dems and those more responsible Republicans who have urged him to retain the program to get their collective act together and legislate.
Now it depends on whether Trump can disengage without the usual barrage of xenophobic White Nationalist race baiting truth-challenged rhetoric that tends to accompany all of his immigration moves. That might be hard for Trump, given his normal need to pander to the basist biases of his base.
There is also the problem of what happens if Congress fails. There is no practical way of removing 800,000 American young people. It’s simply beyond the capacity of the system, not to mention that it would destroy our economy and rip apart our society.
REALITY CHECK: Many U.S. Immigration Courts are already setting “new” non-detained cases out to Individual Hearing dates in 2020 & 2021. As Judge Burman’s remarks in the preceding post suggest, those courts that claim not to be out as far might well be using ADR (“Aimless Docket Reshuffling”) techniques to mask the true extent of the backlog and docketing problem.
A few Dreamers got DACA after the entry of a final order of removal. But, the vast majority either 1) applied before being placed in Removal Proceedings; or 2) had their Removal Proceedings “Administratively Closed” (thereby removed from the Immigration Court’s “active docket”) after DACA was granted. All of these cases would have to be initially docketed or re-docketed upon DHS motion.
The US Immigration Courts’ docket already extends beyond the end of Trump’s current term in 2021. By the time “Dreamer” cases get to Individual Hearings the next Presidential term likely will have expired. After all, even without Dreamers on the docket, and with additional US Immigration Judges on the bench, backlogs have continued to rise as a result of the Administration’s “gonzo” approach to immigration enforcement.
So far, the Administration has addressed the impracticality of unlimited enforcement of a broken immigration system with a pattern of “random acts of cruelty” intended to spread fear, create unease, and keep ethnic and migrant communities on edge.
Let’s hope Congress can get its act together and solve the problem in a bipartisan manner. If not, more disruption, dislocation, disorder, and just plain downright arbitrary meanness are likely to follow.
“Bad things will happen” to a country that allows a xenophobic, racist, White Nationalist minority (two-thirds of Americans favor some type of relief for Dreamers) to overrule the majority and attack our country’s most precious asset: the young people who are America’s (and the world’s) future. It’s time for those of us in the majority who aren’t part of the “Trump base” to stand up and be heard in opposition to those who would destroy our country’s future and trash the lives of fine American young people in the process! And, politicians who oppose relief for Dreamers need to be removed from office through the electoral process.