WASHINGTON – During a meeting with Democrats from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said the DACA program is in serious jeopardy. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, was an executive order signed by former President Barack Obama that nearly eliminated deportation priority for young undocumented immigrants and granted them work permits.
In a CNN article members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus said that Kelly has spoken to legal experts inside and outside the administration who believe DACA would not stand a legal challenge. Attorneys General from 10 states have notified President Donald Trump that if he does not end DACA, they will see him in court. They gave the Trump administration a deadline of September before those states take legal action.
“He did not indicate that they would (defend it). He didn’t say that they wouldn’t, but he didn’t say that they would,” New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez told CNN. “So between that and what he says is the legal analysis he’s heard, it’s not a pretty picture.”
Trump has said his administration would not go after DACA recipients and has been quoted as telling them to “rest easy.”
According to CNN, Kelly told Congressional leaders they should pass immigration reform. A response that generated frustration from the members of Congress present for the meeting.
“His urging is that Congress do something,” Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego told CNN. “Our urging is: Don’t be a fool. If you truly believe and Donald Trump believes that you should protect DACA, then the government should join and encourage the protection of DACA and fight against his attorney general.”