Later this morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to make a statement announcing the winding down of the long-controversial DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) affecting so-called DREAMers (live stream below), children who were brought to the United States by their parents and who entered the country without obtaining legal status benefit from DACA.

Since the program’s creation in 2012, DACA has never provided legal status, but has issued legal work authorization and the promise of deferred removal action. Neither is DACA law — it’s a DHS policy created by the Obama Administration, one widely considered well beyond the bounds of presidential authority.

Despite much of the rhetoric to the contrary, Trump’s administration has said repeatedly they have no plans to deport DREAMers who fall out of DACA, nor will there be any coordinated effort to round them up and ship them out. The priority of the DOJ and DHS for the foreseeable future remains criminal aliens, not those merely here without any current form of legal status.

Currently, DACA enrollees receive work authorization in two-year increments, subject to renewal. ABC reports that Trump’s plan does not end DACA immediately, nor does it rescind current permits, but that it winds the program down over the course of several months:

According to the two administration officials, here’s the policy to be announced later today:

  • The administration won’t consider new applications for legal status dated after Sept. 5.
  • If you are not already protected by the program, you are out of luck, although applications filed before Tuesday that are pending will continue to be processed.
  • Anyone who has a DACA permit expiring between now and March 5, 2018, can apply for a two-year renewal. That application must be submitted by Oct. 5.
  • Some Dreamers, those with permits that expire between now and March 5, will be eligible for legal status for another two-plus years. For others, legal status ends as early as March 6.

But officials insist that even if Congress fails to enact new protection for the Dreamers, they will not be rounded up and deported. Officials say the priority for deportation will continue to be undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes.

Though ABC isn’t correct in suggesting legal status will be extended for some dreamers as DACA provides no such thing.

Ultimately, anything beyond the above listed changes is wildly speculative. If, and it looks as though it will be the case, DACA gets kicked to Congress, it will be up to the legislature to decide what, how, when, etc. As it should be. And until they tackle DACA, no one really knows how this will pan out.

All of the hand-wringing could very well be for naught if Congress comes up with something that would essentially codify DACA by other means. The upcoming Sessions’ announcement will bring an end to a well-intentioned program that was created extralegally and allow Congress the opportunity to protect DREAMers the right way. And Trump seems perfectly amenable to signing some form of a DREAM Act.

Democrats have spent years pumping a generation of kids with the promise of legal status, a promise they knew they could never fulfill. In the words of Trump: sad!

Here is the full speech:

Reactions

They’re pretty much what you’d expect:

There are a few who understand the way DACA was created was a bigger issue than the program itself:

This thread from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ):

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