Trump Gives Congress 6 Months to Replace DACA


(ESPAÑOL) Yesterday, President Trump gave his final decision on DACA: it would lapse, and Congress had until then to fix it. This was one of the three choices available for him to pick regarding the executive order passed in 2012, with the others being to renew it or to repeal it.

This was also the most likely choice, considering the President’s campaign platform based partly on the order’s repeal and the disapproval that would have been engendered by summarily terminating the policy. Even by allowing the bill to lapse in six months, the President was confronted with supplications from members of his own party to reconsider.

Now Congress has to handle the legal status and rights of 800,000, or even 1 million according to some estimates, of immigrants whose future in this country is uncertain, on top of trying to raise the federal debt limit, handle the hurricane Harvey relief, and prepare for the damage hurricane Irma will inflict when it makes landfall.

Even in more reasonable political conditions, DACA was widely panned when it was passed in 2012, yet Congress has made no move to confront it or resolve its underlying problems. Ergo, another six months might not be enough. Setting aside DACA, how to deal with undocumented immigrant children who had no choice in coming to this country illegally has been a question haunting Congress for decades, with no clear legal solution aside from deportation or asylum.

In that time, there have been suggested bills which would grant residence, and eventual citizenship, through military service, but such bills have never made it passed both houses.

That military service proposal was presented in 2010, and reintroduced in 2012 as a replacement to DACA. Since then, no comparable remedies for juvenile arrivals has successfully been presented as a bill. If such a remedy isn’t formulated in 6 months, close to 1 million people will join the other millions of undocumented immigrants with almost no civil rights in the country barring rights and privileges granted by individual states and cities.

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