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Trump administration to stop accepting new DACA applications

Immigration advocates rally outside the Supreme Court in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Despite a Supreme Court ruling last month, the Trump administration said it plans to stop accepting new DACA applications. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Immigration advocates rally outside the Supreme Court in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Despite a Supreme Court ruling last month, the Trump administration said it plans to stop accepting new DACA applications. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

July 28 (UPI) -- The Trump administration won't accept new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Department of Homeland Security said in a memo released Tuesday.

The announcement comes more than a month after the Supreme Court ruled against the administration's attempts to end the program, which gives protections to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

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In addition to blocking new applications, the department said it would only renew applications on a case-by-case basis and renewals will be for one year instead of two.

"As the Department continues looking at the policy and considers future action, the fact remains that Congress should act on this matter," acting Secretary Chad Wolf said. "There are important policy reasons that may warrant the full rescission of the DACA policy."

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A senior administration official said the new measures will be put in place as the administration reviews ways to end DACA.

"The administration is now undertaking a comprehensive review of the DACA program and the justifications that have been offered for winding DACA down, including its illegality and the negative effects the program has on what I call 'immigration behavior,' including smuggling and illegal crossings," the official told reporters in a briefing call.

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The Supreme Court voted 5-4 against the Trump administration's bid to end DACA on June 18, calling its attempts arbitrary and capricious, and illegal under the federal Administrative Procedure Act.

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Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, said eliminating DACA wasn't unconstitutional, but that the Trump administration needed to provide a better reason for doing so.

White House officials said the administration expects new challenges to its latest effort to end DACA.

The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services said the new effort will leave thousands of DACA recipients at risk of deportation. The Texas-based organization accused the Trump administration of "terrorizing the immigrant community."

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"Ending DACA was always a part of Trump's plan to grow his deportation force," said Erika Andiola, chief advocacy officer at RAICES. "His administration will talk about pushing Congress to pass legislation for DACA recipients to have permanent protection, while using DACA as a bargaining chip to secure increased funding and resources for his deportation forces.

"We must not fall for Trump's political tricks and lies, and we will not allow DACA to be used as leverage to increase the surveillance, arrest, detention and deportation of un-DACAmented immigrants."

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President Barack Obama started the DACA program with an executive order in 2012 in an effort to provide temporary relief from deportation for children brought to the United States by undocumented parents. It also allows them to work and go to school in the United States without risk of being sent to their country of birth.

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Trump sought to end the program in favor of allowing Congress to pass its own immigration reform, which failed.

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