Immigrant families and community members stand together during a press conference to speak about the Supreme Court Oral Arguments that are set to begin on Monday about the DACA/DAPA Executive Actions on April 13, 2016 in Miami, Florida. The Supreme Court will hear on April 18th arguments on United States v. Texas , a case that may determine whether President Barack ObamaÕs immigration programsÑDeferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), will be able to move forward. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Groups that want a tougher approach to illegal immigration are worried that President Donald Trump will renege on one of his signature policy promises: ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive amnesty program.
During the presidential campaign, Trump vowed to “immediately terminate” the DACA program, which former President Barack Obama created in 2012 to give illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. as minors a two-year period of deferred action on deportation and access to work permits.
Five months into his presidency, Trump has not moved to cancel DACA protections, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced earlier in June the policies would remain in place for an indefinite period of time. That inaction has convinced many immigration groups that the Trump administration has no intention of eliminating the program.
“If the president had decided to end DACA, it would have happened. I don’t know what they are waiting for. He promised to end DACA,” Rosemary Jenks, director of government relations for NumbersUSA, told the Washington Examiner.
“Once you say something is illegal and unconstitutional, you can’t just keep doing it” she said.
As a candidate, Trump ripped DACA as an illegal “amnesty” and said he would discontinue the program. To the dismay of immigration hawks, the president has since softened his rhetoric on DACA recipients — commonly known as ‘Dreamers’ — and DHS continues to process DACA applications as it had under the Obama administration.
Immigration authorities granted 107,524 DACA renewals and processed 17,275 new applications from January to March, according to data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. About 70 percent of those cases were approved under Trump’s watch.
Organizations such as Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) see the continuation of DACA as a betrayal of the administration’s promises to crack down on illegal immigration. FAIR president Dan Stein told The Daily Caller editor-in-chief Vince Coglianese that Trump’s lack of action on the issue is a “complete flip flop” that preserves the Obama administration’s amnesty for illegal aliens. (RELATED: Key Immigration Hawk: Trump Admin Is Following Obama’s Position On Amnesty)
The administration did follow through with its promise to end the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, which would have allowed as many as five million illegal aliens with children who are citizens or lawful permanent residents to remain in the U.S. if they fulfilled certain criteria. But many groups saw it as a hollow victory because DAPA had already been blocked by the federal courts and had little chance of overcoming a legal challenge from 26 states.
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