WH: Trump Had Two Options on DACA - Both of Which Would Shut Down the Program

By Melanie Arter | September 5, 2017 | 2:50pm EDT
Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Screenshot of C-SPAN video)

(CNSNews.com) - The White House said Tuesday that President Donald Trump had only two choices concerning DACA - allow the federal court to immediately shut down the program or begin a phasing out of the program over a period of two years until Congress acts.

“This morning faced with the very real possibility of a potential immediate shutdown of the entire DACA program by a federal court, President Trump took the responsible and constitutional step of announcing that the administration would be phasing out the program over next two years,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.


“Today’s September 5th deadline was set by the plaintiffs presenting the administration with two and only two real options to choose from - the likely sudden cancellation of the program by a judge or an orderly wind down that preserves the rule of law and returns the question to the legislative branch where it belongs. The president chose the latter of the two options,” she said.

“The president made the best decision in light of the fact that the system set up by the Obama administration in clear violation of federal law,” Sanders said.

“President Obama even admitted this himself when announcing the program calling it a temporary stopgap measure and calling on Congress to act. DACA was initiated after Congress explicitly rejected the same proposal in legislative form. In other words, President Obama didn’t just suspend federal law, but implemented a policy Congress had explicitly rejected,” she added.

Sanders said a misconception exists that assumes DACA is a shield from deportation.

“This is misleading,” she said. “DACA grants work authorization to nearly 800,000 individuals who are not legally authorized to work. DACA recipients whose average age is in their 20s were not an enforcement priority before, and they certainly won’t become a priority now.”

“The priorities remain the same: criminals, security threats, and those who repeatedly violate our immigration,” Sanders said.

Sanders also explained that the DACA decision only affects the issuing of work permits and other government benefits, which will be gradually phased out.

Rather than leaving DACA recipients and immigration enforcement workers “in confusing limbo” regarding the future of the program, which was being challenged “in the same court that struck down another of the previous administration’s unlawful immigration orders earlier this year,” the president chose “a responsible 24 month phase out.”

“No permits will be expiring for another six months, and permits will remain active for up to two full years,” she said.

As CNSNews.com reported,  current DACA recipients won’t be impacted until six months from now - on March 5, 2018, giving Congress time “to consider appropriate legislative solutions.”

“Initial requests for Employment Authorization Documents under DACA properly filed and accepted through today will be processed,” the White House said. New DACA applications filed after today will not be accepted.

“Renewal applications for DACA Employment Authorization Documents properly filed and accepted by October 5, 2017, for people whose current Employment Authorization Documents expire between today and March 5, 2018, will be processed,” the White House said. “Any such requests filed after October 5, 2017 will not be accepted.”

“Currently approved applications for advance parole for DACA recipients will generally be honored, but new applications will not be approved. All pending applications for advance parole by DACA recipients will be closed and associated fees will be refunded,” the White House said.

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