The Venezuelans left in limbo by new US immigration plan (Image: UPI/Paul Haring)
(Update: The Venezuelan government has declared it will deport these Venezuelans to their respective countries of origin, but has not provided details of how it would do this. See update below.)
After one of the most embarrassing U.S. immigration actions in decades, the Trump administration is trying to clean up its act.
On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced it is withdrawing from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which grants work permits and temporary asylum to hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants. That program had been due to expire in March, but has instead been extended for another two months.
In addition to leaving DACA, DHS also said it would change its rules and rescind its policy of deporting people who were in the U.S. without a visa or on an expired visa. That policy was put in place after President Obama granted amnesty to a group of young immigrants known as Dreamers.
But the administration’s most controversial action — ending the protection of two-year-olds — caught everyone by surprise and came at a critical moment in the fight over immigration. The policy was passed by Congress in 2012, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the provision in June.
(It’s worth noting that it took until June for the Supreme Court to rule on the legality of the DACA program, but for many years prior to the decision, the Obama administration quietly worked to grant the program’s recipients work permits and protections.)
The administration’s decision was met with anger by Dreamers themselves, who say it is yet another example of the Trump administration’s cruelty. But even the harshest critics of Trump’s immigration agenda have been moved by the move, saying the reversal is the first step toward securing immigration reform.
“DHS made a good move by reversing the policy that would have forced adult immigrants to leave the country,” said John Binder, founder of NumbersUSA. “But even good moves have consequences.”
Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security.
[A] government agency should not reverse an administrative policy unless there are very good reasons for