Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that the administration will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children from deportation, with a six-month delay.
“I am here today to announce that the program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama Administration is being rescinded,” Sessions said in a news conference.
The DACA program, announced by President Obama in June 2012, offers recipients renewable protection from deportation for two years, and allows them to legally work in the country. To qualify, applicants must have entered the United States before the age of 16 and lived in the country continuously since 2007 and have no criminal record.
On June 29, 2017, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, along with other state attorneys general, called on the Trump administration to phase out DACA by September 5 or go to court, forcing the administration to come to a decision on the program.
On Tuesday morning, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke formally rescinded the 2012 memo that established DACA, according to a DHS press release. “As a result of recent litigation, we were faced with two options: wind the program down in an orderly fashion that protects beneficiaries in the near-term while working with Congress to pass legislation; or allow the judiciary to potentially shut the program down completely and immediately,” Duke said. “We chose the least disruptive option.”