Trump to review DACA, allow holders to extend for one year

The Trump administration is set to announce Tuesday that it will undertake a review of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that will allow Dreamers to renew their protections for a year.

The White House laid out details about the plan during a call with reporters on Tuesday afternoon. A source familiar with the plans said the review is expected to take roughly 100 days.

The presidential election is 98 days away, giving President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE cover to punt on an issue that can be politically divisive.

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The review is intended to ensure that the legal justifications for rescinding DACA comply with the Administration Procedures Act, the source said.

The Supreme Court last month rejected Trump's first attempt to rescind DACA, saying the administration did not comply with the act and failed to provide adequate justification for ending the program.

The president said after the Supreme Court decision he would refile paperwork to end the program. He was initially expected to do so earlier this month.

“The administration continues to have significant doubts about the DACA policy’s legality and the negative consequences that ensue from that policy,” a senior administration official said on the call with reporters Tuesday afternoon.

The administration will not accept new DACA applications while the review takes place, but Dreamers whose protections are set to expire will be able to renew their status for one year.

The senior administration official said that the review would be “comprehensive” and include examining the justifications offered for winding DACA down. 

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“When the administration next acts on DACA, it will be on the basis of the comprehensive review of the substantive legal and legal policy justifications offered for winding down the program,” the official said. 

The official would not give a timetable for how long the review would take, but the source familiar with the plans said it would likely take between 60 and 100 days. 

A federal judge ruled last week that the administration must resume accepting applications for DACA following the Supreme Court decision. The official indicated Tuesday that new applications will be rejected, however, though they struggled to explain how the administration would defy the judge’s order. 

The Department of Homeland Security is rescinding the 2017 and 2018 memos issued by the agency related to DACA, which administration officials argue represents enough of a change that judges should interpret new applications differently, according to the eight-page memo issued later Tuesday.

“I am rescinding the Nielsen Memorandum and the Duke Memorandum, and making certain immediate changes to the DACA policy to mitigate my enforcement policy concerns while I conduct a full and careful consideration of a full rescission,” acting DHS Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Watch live: Acting DHS chief testifies on deployment of federal agents to protests The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Key 48 hours loom as negotiators push for relief deal MORE wrote.

In addition to not accepting new DACA requests and limiting renewals to one year instead of two-year periods, the memo also states that the administration should only grant permission to current DACA beneficiaries to travel outside the U.S. through “advance parole” in “exceptional circumstances.” 

The Supreme Court made clear in its decision last month that Trump had the authority to rescind DACA. Allies have been expecting Trump to move again to rescind the Obama-era program, which offers protections for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.

But he has offered conflicting and at times confusing explanations for his plans for the program in recent weeks.

Trump told Telemundo in an interview earlier this month that he planned to unveil an executive order that would include protections for Dreamers. However, the White House later sought to clarify the president’s remarks shortly after the interview was published, saying the executive order would establish a merit-based immigration system and would not include amnesty. 

He later told reporters in the Rose Garden that the administration will “be taking care of people from DACA in a very Republican way,” but did not offer specifics.

Updated at 4:30 p.m.