Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

DACA's future rests with Congress, courts

DACA's future rests with Congress, courts

Six months later, there still aren't a lot of answers.

DACA advocates are using Monday's deadline to intensify pressure on the White House and Congress for permanent protection. And, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision has effectively - and perhaps indefinitely - delayed the deadline.

Among the Senate bills that failed to advance was a Trump-backed plan that would provide a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers - the almost 700,000 DACA registrants, plus 1.1 million who were eligible but did not register - in exchange for extra border security funding and dramatic curtailment of legal immigration.

Finally, March 5 arrived and nothing happened.

"I am here today to tell Democrats that they are not my allies and I will continue to fight and show that that I will not collaborate with them until they do something for my community" the protester said before calling Democrats "fake allies".

Courts in NY and California ruled President Obama's 2012 executive order creating DACA was legal, freezing President Trump's repeal.

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"DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don't really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our military", the president tweeted in January.

The March 5 deadline now has less urgency after the Supreme Court allowed rulings on the program to head into appeals. "Mexico must do much more on stopping drugs from pouring into the U.S. They have not done what needs to be done".

DACA protects from deportation an estimated 700,000 illegal immigrants who were brought to the minors by their parents.

Conservatives in the House of Representatives have introduced their own, more hardline legislation addressing DACA, but it has been unable to gain sufficient support within their Republican Party to pass.

A nationwide injunction forced the administration to resume accepting renewal requests within a week but it did not apply to first-time DACA applicants. From there, it is expected to go to the Supreme Court, likely keeping DACA alive through November midterm elections. That was a sharp departure from the Obama administration, which focused on those with criminal records.

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus wrote Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen seeking her assurance that agents will not target DACA recipients whose status has lapsed. "Especially with my family, I am anxious about not being able to see them". The program provided work permits and two-year reprieves from deportation that could be renewed.

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