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Congress Sits On DACA Legislation As Deadline Passes

The March 5, 2018 deadline set by President Donald Trump for Congress to create a permanent Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) law has passed without Congress making any moves to save the almost 700,000 young undocumented immigrants from future arrest or deportation. The DACA is an Obama-era program that allows young undocumented immigrants who were brought into the U.S. as children to temporarily work and live legally. President Trump ended the DACA program in September of 2017 and tasked Congress to pass a permanent DACA legislation that will pave a way for DACA beneficiaries to stay in the U.S. and eventually acquire U.S. citizenship. Talks between Democrat and Republican legislators and the White House, however, failed to reach an agreement on the DACA legislation despite intense pressure and hundreds of protests from various groups across the U.S. On March 5, 2018, massive protests in Capitol Hill led to the arrest of 87 protesters who were demonstrating in support of DACA.

The only thing keeping the DACA program alive is U.S. Federal District Judge William Alsup’s decision last January 2018 compelling the Trump Administration to continue accepting renewal applications from previous DACA beneficiaries, but not first-time applicants. There is a pending case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that will decide whether the DACA should be continued or terminated. The Court of Appeals is expected to hand down the decision in June 2018 that will ultimately decide the fate of these young immigrants.

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