President Donald Trump has officially announced that young undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States as children – so-called dreamers – will continue to be protected from deportation.
In a fact sheet posted on the Department of Homeland Security website on Thursday, the administration said that dreamers will continue to be provided with work permits, noting that the permits will continue to be renewable every two years and that “no work permits will be terminated prior to their current expiration dates.”
The Obama administration in 2012 launched a program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that allowed eligible young immigrants to enroll and get work permits and protection from deportation. About 800,000 immigrants are currently enrolled into the program.
During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump had pledged to terminate the program and cancel the work permits, saying the action by Obama to launch the program though an executive order amounted to an illegal grant of amnesty.
"I'm grateful that President Trump has decided to keep the DACA program in place. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Nominee Francis Cissna have promised me personally and publicly that they will maintain the existing guidelines for the DACA program. I appreciate the commitment and intend to hold them to it,” said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said on the Senate floor on Thursday.