Despite repeatedly making a campaign pledge to fully reverse executive actions on immigration from the Obama Administration, President Donald Trump has so far left in place one controversial plan from his predecessor, which allows young people – known as immigrant “Dreamers” – who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents to stay here, without the threat of deportation.
The White House said Friday that the DACA program – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – remains under review, but the lack of action by President Trump on that issue has left some of his supporters openly frustrated, as they want to see an all out effort against illegal immigration.
“The real scandal? Trump has granted amnesty to 125,000 illegals under Obama’s unconstitutional order,” fumed immigration activist Mark Krikorian.
And the numbers do bear that out – the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reported that as of March 31, 124,799 people who had qualified for DACA, had their special permits renewed in the first three months of this year.
“Trump’s been expanding Obama’s illegal amnesty for going on five months now,” Krikorian added.
During the campaign, things were pretty straightforward – Mr. Trump was going to reverse the Obama executive actions on immigration, period.
“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,” the President said in a major immigration speech on August 31, 2016.
But soon after he entered the White House, the President sent mixed signals about how he would treat Dreamers.
“It is a very, very difficult subject,” Mr. Trump said at a February 16 news conference.
The decision to leave DACA in place comes amid grumbling from some conservative quarters, amid a desire for even more action on border security and illegal immigration.
On the other side, immigration activists were not declaring victory, worried that President Trump will sooner or later move to rein in the DACA program, which could put millions in jeopardy of deportation.
“DACA recipients cannot rest easily when our families are still in the cross hairs of deportation agents,” said the group Mi Familia Vota.
“DACA recipients continue to be arrested, detained, and deported under the President’s deportation apparatus,” said the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
Action in Congress on major immigration legislation that might address this matter still seems unlikely.