Trump administration to deport immigrant parents, while continuing child immigrant protections

U.S. President Donald Trump announces his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement at the White House in Washington on June 1. (CNS photo/Kevin Lamarque, Reuters)U.S. President Donald Trump announces his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement at the White House in Washington on June 1. (CNS photo/Kevin Lamarque, Reuters)

The Trump administration has canceled a never-implemented Obama-era immigration program intended to protect parents of U.S. citizens from deportation, fulfilling one of President Donald Trump's campaign promises.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly revoked the memo creating the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program. The program was created by President Barack Obama in 2014 to protect people living in the United States illegally who have children who are U.S. citizens or legal residents. They would have been kept safe from deportation and provided with renewable work permits.

Advertisement

The program was blocked by a federal judge in Texas after 26 states sued. Republicans saw it as a "backdoor amnesty" and argued that Obama overstepped his authority by protecting a specific class of immigrants living in the United States illegally.

While announcing the end of that program late on Thursday, the Homeland Security Department said another program that has protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation will remain in effect, though it did not say for how long. Trump had also pledged to "immediately" cancel that program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. But, so far, most immigrants protected by the effort have not been targeted by stepped-up efforts to find and deport immigrants living in the country illegally.

DACA was created five years ago and, as of March 31, has protected 787,000 young immigrants, according to government data.

The protection program for parents, like the one for young immigrants, was created with a policy memo, not by legislation. Both programs required that participants meet certain conditions, including not having a history of serious crimes.

Arrests of immigrants in the interior of the country have increased under the Trump administration, but deportations are slightly down as fewer people have been caught crossing the Mexican border into the United States illegally.

Trump has made immigration enforcement a top priority and has vowed to continue a crackdown on those living in the U.S. illegally and those trying to sneak into the country.

But he's taken a softer line on the program affecting young immigrants, who are sometimes referred to as "Dreamers." In an Associated Press interview in April, Trump said his administration is "not after the dreamers, we are after the criminals" and that "The dreamers should rest easy."

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

 10.17.2018 Pope Francis greets Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago before a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 16. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
“We take people where they are, walking with them, moving forward,” Cardinal Blase Cupich said.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 20, 2018
Catherine Pakaluk, who currently teaches at the Catholic University of America and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, describes her tweet to Mr. Macron as “spirited” and “playful.”
Emma Winters October 19, 2018
A new proposal from the Department of Homeland Security could make it much more difficult for legal immigrants to get green cards in the United States. But even before its implementation, the proposal has led immigrants to avoid receiving public benefits.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 19, 2018
 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, then nuncio to the United States, and then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, are seen in a combination photo during the beatification Mass of Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J., Oct. 4, 2014. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
In this third letter Archbishop Viganò no longer insists, as he did so forcefully in his first letter, that the restrictions that he claimed Benedict XVI had imposed on Archbishop McCarrick—one he alleges that Pope Francis later lifted—can be understood as “sanctions.”
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 19, 2018