Last week President Trump began to address some of his immigration priorities through several executive orders. So far he has not taken action on DACA or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The executive orders can only go so far before Congress’s approval is needed to change laws but one of the powers the President has is the power to repeal some of President Obama’s executive orders. One of the most important Obama-era actions was DACA.
DACA was a presidential E.O. that attempted to implement a onetime popular bipartisan bill, the DREAMERS Act that had been stuck in the immigration congressional roadblock. To be eligible under the current E.O a young undocumented immigrant must have entered the U.S. before their 16th birthday and before June 2007. They also had to be in school, a high school graduate or be honorably discharged from the military and be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2015. The young person cannot have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or considered a national security risk. There are more than 740,000 young people covered by the EO and many are concerned about what could happen to them after they have voluntarily come forward to provide information as a condition to receive the protections.
One of the President’s E.O.’s from Wednesday restricts some privacy protections first implemented under President George W. Bush that applied to students, foreign workers, asylum seekers, and some undocumented people. It is unclear what the goal is but some advocates are concerned that the action could endanger Dreamers who came forward.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has introduced S 128 with two other Republican senators and five Democrats that would delay any actions on these young Dreamers before Congress can act on the fate of these young people. But that would require passage and a presidential signature. President Trump is getting heat from some conservative groups and members of his party who want the protection repealed without delay.