The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may be extending the deadline for some illegal aliens to reapply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) protections, according to new reports.
Rueters says that on Thursday, federal court Judge Nicholas Garaufise “repeatedly pressed the Trump administration” to extend the deadline for some DACA recipients to reapply for the program. The deadline is currently set for October.
DACA, which is an amnesty program started under former President Obama, offered protections to children brought to the United States illegally by their parents. In an announcement in August, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the DACA program, stating it was an open-ended, unconstitutional immigration policy that was vulnerable to lawsuits.
DACA is set to expire in March 2018. Recipients with work permits, which expire before then, must reapply before Oct. 5, 2017 to renew them for another two years.
On Thursday, at a hearing in a federal court in Brooklyn, Judge Garaufis said the administration’s deadline is “arbitrary,” and that extending it would give Congress time for a legislative solution.
“No one will be harmed by extending this deadline,” Garaufis said, “especially the 800,000 people who are sweating about whether someone is going to come knocking on their door and send them back to a country that they don’t even know and where they don’t speak the language.”
Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brett Shumate reportedly said in court Thursday that DHS is considering an extension of the October deadline, citing Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
“We will definitely take your concerns back to our clients,” Shumate reportedly said.
President Trump himself has urged Congress to pass legislation that would offer a permanent solution to the DACA recipients, before the program expires in March.
In a tweet last week, the president insinuated that if Congress failed to do so, he would revisit his decision to rescind the program.
On Thursday, President Trump said that despite reports to the contrary, he is not considering offering citizenship to DACA beneficiaries.
“We’re not looking at citizenship. We’re not looking at amnesty,” he told reporters in Fort Myers, Florida.
The president, who was in Florida to receive a briefing on Hurricane Irma, continued, “We’re looking at allowing people to stay here. Everybody’s on board. They want to do something. We’re not talking about amnesty. We’re talking about taking care of people.”
Meanwhile, some of Trump’s base of conservative supporters has made their opinions clear on the matter. Sean Hannity, a reliable supporter of the president’s, took to Twitter to warn him that when it comes to DACA, the president needs to keep his promises and think of American’s, first.
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said Trump “does not support amnesty,” but might be open to other options for DACA recipients.
“What the Trump administration will discuss is a responsible path forward in immigration reform,” she told reporters aboard Air Force One. “That could include legal citizenship over a period of time.”
Dennis Michael Lynch, CEO of DML News, weighed in on Trump’s past 24 hours. “He’s being played like a fiddle and will be left with a support base of 800,000 Dreamers who think he’s a racist. His ego is so enormous that he thinks he can survive anything. He’s about to learn a very humbling lesson. His base has kept him alive to this point. His base is fading.”
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