UPDATE: AUGUST 31, 2017
Several outlets are reporting that President Donald Trump will terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) imminently. However, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee-Sanders contradicted these reports, stating that no decision has been made. The decision is being forced by the legal moves of Texas and ten other states. We reported recently on President Trump's deliberations on the issue [see article]. We will update the website with more information once President Trump announces his decision on DACA.
On August 24, 2017, Jonathan Swain of Axios reported that President Donald Trump is giving strong consideration to ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) [link].1 As we discussed previously on site, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton gave the Trump Administration until September 5, 2017, to end DACA or face a legal challenge to the program [see article].
According to the Axios report, President Trump has not yet made a final decision on whether he will seek to defend DACA.
Axios notes that the Trump administration does not believe it has the legal authority to defend DACA. We noted on site that while serving as Homeland Security Secretary, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had taken the position that DACA may not be able to withstand legal scrutiny, although he supported its goals. Nevertheless, Axios describes DHS as taking a “nuanced position” in current deliberations.
Meanwhile, Axios reports that the U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, “strongly believes Trump should end DACA.” Sessions has been an opponent of DACA since his time in the U.S. Senate. In response to the letter from the Texas Attorney General, Sessions stated on Fox and Friends: “I like it that our states and localities are holding the federal government to account, expecting us to do what's in our responsibility to the state and locals and that's to enforce the law.”
Ultimately, the decision on how to proceed will be President Trump's. Although he campaigned on ending DACA, he has subsequently stated as president that a solution would be found for its beneficiaries. He has not made any public statements on the issue since the Texas letter, although there were reports that he was not in favor of the proposed legislation from senators Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin designed to codify protections for many of those who benefit from DACA [see blog].
We will update the site with more information as soon as the White House decides whether it will defend DACA or cease the program.