Trump DHS Cancels Obama Executive Amnesty Program

Kelly nixes DAPA, rescinding court-blocked legal status for illegal-immigrant parents of citizens

by Margaret Menge | Updated 16 Jun 2017 at 10:50 AM

The Department of Homeland Security announced late Thursday that it is canceling the program that would have allowed the illegal-immigrant parents of American-born children and green-card holders to remain in the U.S. The program would have granted them three-year work permits and protected them from deportation.

The program, known as the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), was created by a 2014 executive order signed by President Barack Obama. It would have prevented the government from deporting an estimated five million illegal immigrants now residing in the U.S.

Twenty-six states sued the federal government to stop the implementation of DAPA, arguing that it violates the Constitution. A temporary injunction was issued in February of 2015, blocking the program from going into effect.

In a press release, the Department of Homeland Security said Secretary John Kelly has signed a memorandum rescinding the Nov. 20, 2014, memorandum that created DAPA because "there is no credible path forward" to defend the program in court.

To be eligible for DAPA, an illegal immigrant had to:

  • be the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident as of Nov. 20, 2014;
  • have lived in the U.S. continuously since before Jan. 1, 2010;
  • have been in the U.S. on Nov. 20, 2014, and be here when applying for relief;
  • have no lawful immigration status on that date;
  • not fall within the Secretary's enforcement priorities; and
  • "present no other factors that, in the exercise of discretion, make the grant of deferred action inappropriate."

The other Obama-era executive amnesty order, called DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — which was signed two years earlier, in 2012, and did go into effect, has not been rescinded, despite President Donald Trump's promise on the campaign trail that illegal immigrants would be deported.

The program, in fact, just issued 17,000 new work permits and renewed more than 100,000 work permits for people who came to the U.S. illegally as children.

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