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DHS Head Won’t Commit to Defending DACA

July 13, 2017

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly told Democrats of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that he could not commit to the Trump administration defending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provides protection against deportation and two-year renewable work permits for certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, CNN reported. Kelly told lawmakers that while he personally supports the DACA program, legal experts have told him it’s unlikely to survive a court challenge.

Ten Republican state attorneys general said last month that they would sue to end DACA if the Trump administration does not phase it out. They argue that the program, which President Obama created under his executive authority, is unlawful in that it “unilaterally confers eligibility for work authorization and lawful presence without any statutory authorization from Congress.”

President Trump pledged to eliminate DACA as a candidate but has since softened his tone, saying he wants to deal with DACA "with heart," without committing to keeping the program in place. A wide swath of college leaders have called for the continuation of the program, stressing its benefit to current and former students who through DACA are able to pursue professional careers and contribute to their communities and the economy.


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