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US Resumes Accepting DACA Applications As Trump Rages On Twitter

With just days left until the latest government shutdown deadline, which looms ominously as negotiations over the treatment of DACA and immigration in general have broken down following Trump’s “shithole” outburst (see “‘Shithole’: The Word That Could Shutdown A $4 Trillion Federal Government“), late on Saturday the Trump administration said that it would resume accepting renewal applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, bowing – for now – to a federal court ruling that blocked an effort to end the Obama-era policy.


In September, President Trump said that he was ending DACA, which gives safe harbor from deportation and work permits to about 690,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, known as Dreamers. He challenged Congress to replace the program with legislation offering similar protections, but lawmakers have so far been unable to agree on how. Then, last Tuesday, a San Francisco federal judge temporarily blocked the move, responding to multiple lawsuits challenging the decision. U.S. District Judge William Alsup said that until the cases are completed, the administration must consider renewal applications from immigrants who were enrolled in the program on Sept. 5, when Trump announced its end.

The lawsuits challenging DACA argue that the rescission of the program violates administrative procedures and is unconstitutional. Mr. Trump’s supporters point out that President Barack Obama created the program using executive authority and argue that it can be ended using that same authority.

Trump complained on Twitter about the court ruling after it was issued and predicted that the decision would be overturned. “It just shows everyone how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts,” he wrote. The ruling was issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which is based in San Francisco. Conservatives often complain that the court has liberal leanings.

However, on Saturday, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said on its website that it would comply with the decision and “until further notice” would resume accepting renewal applications from those people. As a result, “Dreamers” who previously received a grant of protection under the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) may apply for a renewal under the terms in place before it was rescinded in September.

“Due to a federal court order, USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA,” the agency, part of the Homeland Security Department, said in an update posted on its website according to the WSJ.

The judge didn’t require that the administration accept new applications, and USCIS made clear that it won’t. More from the WSJ:

Advocates began spreading the word Saturday to those affected, advising them to submit applications. If the court decision is overturned, the agency may cease processing renewals once again.

“Until further notice, if you already applied for #DACA and it was expiring, this is your chance to reapply,” tweeted California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who led the legal challenge on behalf of his state.

Meanwhile, Congress is debating whether or not to write new legislation that would grant legal status to these immigrants that were brought to the U.S. as children and remain illegally. The topic has emerged as a major sticking point in ongoing government funding negotations.

Trump’s decision to end the program sparked a major immigration debate in Congress, and a major controversy for the president. In Congress, Republicans have insisted that any DACA protections be accompanied by more enforcement, including funding for Mr. Trump’s border wall, or fence, with Mexico and new limits on legal immigration.

On Thursday, a deal over DACA was reportedly finalized “in principle”, when a bipartisan group of senators agreed to a package, but Trump and some conservative Republicans rejected it. It was during a meeting about this proposal that Mr. Trump referred to African nations as “shithole countries” and questioned why the U.S. would want to admit Haitians, sparking condemnation at home and abroad.

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Following the CIS announcement, Trump unleashed another fiery tweetstorm on Sunday morning, lashing out at democrats, and stating “DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military.”

He then added “I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in through a system based on MERIT. No more Lotteries! #AMERICA FIRST.