Since his campaign, President Trump‘s focal point of his presidency has been making changes to the immigration system in the United States. His first action has been to get rid of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) enacted by President Obama. The most precise definition of DACA is a policy for immigrant children who come to the United States and meet certain guidelines to be considered for deferred action from deportation and even electively for work permits (USCIS). The people who benefit from this program are often referred to as “dreamers.” According to times.com more than 800,000 people have been saved from deportation under this federal act.
While campaigning, Trump made it clear that he hated the immigration system and specifically outlined those coming from Latin American countries as part of the problem. In one of his earlier speeches, Trump resorted to calling Mexicans “criminals and rapists.” As a result, many found getting rid of this program as a specific attack on these illegal immigrants as opposed to making changes to the system itself. Trump’s main criticism of the policy follows that initial sentiment, saying it helped spark a “massive surge” of immigrants from Central America, some of whom went on to become members of violent gangs like MS-13.
According to an article by PBS.com, this seemed like a fairly rushed decision. They outline that Trump’s motives were primarily based on pressure from conservative attorneys that threatened to sue the White House unless the program was ended. Since them, the repealing of DACA is a part of a broader effort to “fix” the immigration system; these include increased security at the southern border with a wall, ending chain migration, and ending the visa lottery system.
This has possibly been the clearest that Trump has been on immigration, but there are still many unanswered questions on the solvency of any of these proposals. Therefore, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is holding off from any vote concerning immigration. Various proposals are being thrown around Congress that represent the opposite of what Trump wants. On this issue Congress/Senate are on battlegrounds with the White House. Based on this the chances for an immigration deal passing right now are close to slim.
Daanish Bhatti is a former staff writer for The Rambler and a member of the Cathedral Prep Class of 2018.