Donald Trump’s campaign promises became assurances once he was inaugurated on January 20. One of these being his promise to end Obama’s executive action that grants amnesty to young illegal immigrants through a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
“We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties, in which he defied federal law and the constitution to give amnesty to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants,” said Trump (https://www.donaldjtrump.com) One of those “illegal executive amnesties” being DACA.
The Obama administration signed DACA in June 2012. This policy allows certain undocumented immigrants in the United States, who entered as minors, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation. Additionally, they would be granted a work permit.
The Pew Research Center (http://www.pewresearch.org) estimated that 3.9 million illegal immigrant parents with U.S.-born children would be eligible for relief. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 741,546 (88%) applicants were approved and 60,269 (7%) were denied, (https://www.uscis.gov)
However, a majority in the House of Representatives is against the program, and in 2013 they held a vote to defund DACA. The ending tally resulted in 224-201 in favor of defunding it, with three Democrats joining a majority of republicans in voting against it.
This amendment was led by Representative Steve King of Iowa. He stated, “The point here is…the President does not have the authority to waive immigration law, nor does he have the authority to create it out of thin air.”
However, congress does not have the power to defund DACA since it is almost entirely funded by its own application fees. Therefore, an executive order would be necessary to reverse it.
Within his first 12 days in office, Donald Trump had already signed 18 executive orders and memos—the major ones being to increase border security measures along Mexico, banning refugees from entering the country for 120 days, and keeping immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries out for three months. (https://qz.com)
It is estimated that approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants are currently residing in the United States. Trump’s executive actions to reshape immigration enforcement policies would reduce this number by identifying and deporting two to three million undocumented immigrants who have criminal records and are considered a threat to national security. (https://www.washingtonpost.com)
Although it is still relatively early into his presidency, Trump’s actions indicate his commitment to securing our borders is still unchanged. He campaigned on a promise to enact stricter immigration policies, and so far he is keeping that promise.
By Alexandra Reboredo