STATEMENT: President Trump’s Decision to Rescind DAPA is Disappointing; Recommitting to DACA Is Critical, Says CAP’s Tom Jawetz

Washington, D.C. — Last night the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that Secretary John Kelly had rescinded the November 2014 memo that would have created Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). And though the Trump administration announced it will keep the nearly 790,000 DACA recipients safe from deportation, comments from the White House and DHS this morning seem to indicate that the future of DACA is in fact still uncertain and under review with the administration. Vice President of Immigration Policy Tom Jawetz released the following statement:

It is disappointing to see that on the fifth anniversary of DACA, rather than release a statement commemorating the immense contributions of DACA recipients, the Trump administration chose to formally rescind the memo creating DAPA and expanded DACA and to further the confusion and fear felt by DREAMers by recommitting to DACA in the evening and walking it back by morning. DAPA and expanded DACA would have allowed 4 million parents and young immigrants to win a reprieve from deportation and the ability to apply for a work permit. Unfortunately, neither was permitted to take effect as a result of hyperpartisan obstruction, including that which led to a deadlocked, eight-member Supreme Court. DAPA and expanded DACA were designed to help prioritize our nation’s limited enforcement resources so that DHS could focus on serious threats to national security and public safety. Instead, what we have seen under the Trump administration has been the opposite—parents, dreamers, and long-standing residents all torn away from their families and communities in misguided zeal to deport as many people as possible.

While the administration could not properly honor DACA on its fifth anniversary, it was encouraging that DHS initially reiterated the administration’s commitment keep DACA itself in place, but the mixed signals sent by today’s statement from DHS that points to an uncertain long-term future for DACA are terribly damaging to the DREAMers who rely on the initiative. Since 2012, DACA has helped nearly 790,000 young people go back to school, get better jobs, buy cars and houses, and strengthen their families, their communities, and the nation as a whole. We strongly encourage the administration to continue its commitment to DACA and stop the ambiguity around the program.

CAP experts are available to speak on this topic. To coordinate, please contact Tanya Arditi at tarditi@americanprogress.org or 202.741.6258.

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