Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Uncertain future for US 'Dreamer' immigrants as deadline passes

Uncertain future for US 'Dreamer' immigrants as deadline passes

A federal court order is the only thing standing between the Dreamers and deportation.

A group of DACA recipients wore white wigs and hobbled around on canes outside the Democratic National Committee in Washington to highlight how long they've waited for Congress to pass the DREAM Act, a bill that would protect them but has repeatedly failed since it was first introduced in 2001. To qualify, they needed to have arrived before their 16th birthday, been under 31 in June 2012, completed high school or served in the military, and have clean criminal records.

Six months ago, lawmakers promised to have a solution for DACA in place. Those whose permits expired by March 5 had a month to apply for renewal.

However, the United States District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, William Alsup said this proposal violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

A federal judge in NY issued an injunction in February that blocked the administration's attempt to dismantle the policy. Because even though the Supreme Court bought them some time, that reprieve may be short-lived.

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Trump had insisted that any legislation saving DACA had to be coupled with funding for his border wall and an overhaul of the legal immigration system. The Senate rejected it.

Republicans lead both chambers of Congress and have been unable to pass any DACA-related bill. Democrats forced a partial shutdown in January with that goal in mind but relented after three days. That essentially muted the March 5 deadline that Trump had set for the program, and Dreamers whose DACA permits expire can still submit applications to renew their protected status.

"Donald Trump's decision to end DACA created an unnecessary crisis that has left hundreds of thousands of Dreamers uncertain about their future".

In February, former Homeland Security secretary John Kelly, now Trump's chief of staff, scrapped the Obama administration's policy of limiting deportations to people who pose a public safety threat, convicted criminals, and those who have crossed the border recently, effectively making anyone in the country illegally vulnerable.

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