What's A Six-Month Delay? Trump's DACA Plans Aren't Set In Stone Just Yet
On Sunday, Politico reported that President Trump came to a decision politicians from both ends of the spectrum cautioned against. The White House will discontinue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, otherwise known as DACA, a program that protects immigrant minors from being deported. However, Trump isn't expected to put the policy into place immediately, because his DACA plan reportedly involves a six-month delay.
The six-month delay, which many lawmakers support according to Politico, is more important than it may sound. Primarily, it would give Congress a chance to potentially act against Trump's plan or, at the very least, change its course. For this reason, the cancellation of DACA isn't set in stone just yet. And it's not official until the White House releases a statement, which it has yet to do. Furthermore, Trump isn't expected to speak on the matter until Tuesday.
Still, though the six-month window is intended to give Congress time to take action, the extent to which lawmakers can nullify Trump's reported plan is uncertain. DACA, which was enacted under Obama, was never made into a law. Instead, Obama signed an executive order. Therefore, Trump presumably has the authority to cancel the plan himself. It doesn't have to go through Congress to become formally repealed.
The news is devastating for the some 800,000 immigrants, known as Dreamers, who have been protected by the program. Though Trump attacked DACA on the campaign trail, he suggested he'd had a change of heart after being elected to office. Before the election, Trump had initially claimed that Obama "defied federal law and the Constitution" by signing the executive order that established DACA. But a June 15 White House press release declaring the cancellation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, also known as DAPA, ensured that DACA would remain in place for the time being.
Though the press release made no promises to cancel DACA, it also made no promises to enforce it indefinitely. However, deciding on DACA's future became a more urgent matter after state attorneys general threatened to sue if Trump didn't put an end to DACA by Sept. 5. Coincidentally — or perhaps not — that's the date Trump is expected to address the United States on his decision.
It's too early to know whether or not the six-month delay will ultimately bring down Trump's plan to end DACA. Regardless, expect Congress to push back against the policy.