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State Officials Call for End to DACA Program for US Undocumented Immigrants

  • VOA News

FILE - Community activists rally during an event on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) in Los Angeles, Feb. 17, 2015.

Officials from 10 states are calling on the administration of President Donald Trump to end an Obama-era program that granted temporary immunity to undocumented young people who were brought to the United States as children.

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the officials urged the administration to end the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program or risk being taken to court.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, nine other attorneys general and one governor signed the letter.

"We respectfully request that the Secretary of Homeland Security phase out the DACA program," Paxton wrote. He was joined by the attorneys general of Arkansas, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia, as well as Idaho Governor C.L. Otter.

DACA has deferred deportation and granted work permits for a renewable two-year period for at least 750,000 recipients nationwide.

In a June 15 memo rescinding the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, the secretary of DHS wrote that DACA would remain in effect, although its future was uncertain. Trump says he has not decided what to do about DACA.

DAPA blocked

DAPA never took effect. Twenty-six states challenged the program in a federal district court in Texas, which called the program an overreach by the administration of former President Barack Obama and blocked its implementation. That ruling was upheld on appeal, and a further appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2016 ended in a split decision, which left the initial ruling in place.

In rescinding DAPA, DHS said the agency saw no way to effectively argue the case.

The original Texas lawsuit has not been dismissed, and Paxton wrote that if the administration did not rescind DACA, "the complaint in that case will be amended to challenge both the DACA program and the remaining expanded DACA permits."

The letter gave the Trump administration a deadline of September 5 to decide.

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