The White House is supposed to issue a new order rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals amnesty soon, yet President Trump is alluding to amnesty and a federal court is ordering the administration to legalize “Dreamers.”
Just what the heck is going on with DACA?
First, off there are Trump’s bizarre comments on DACA. Trump told Telemundo in an interview last weekend that his DACA executive order would give illegal aliens who arrived to the US as minors a “path to citizenship.” This was a disturbing statement, but it seemed like one of Trump’s ramblings where he says stuff without knowing what he’s talking about. This has been a common feature of his immigration rhetoric in the White House. He’s also not legally able to give citizenship to these illegals via executive order [Trump's planned order on 'dreamers' will not include amnesty, White House says, Reuters, July 10, 2020].
Sure enough, it was an example of Trump just mouthing an empty platitude. Shortly after the interview aired, the White House clarified that there absolutely would be no pathway to citizenship in the DACA executive order.
But, according to independent journalist Ryan Girdusky, someone in Trump’s orbit is trying to persuade the president that it would help his election chances if he gives amnesty to Dreamers. This would do the opposite, yet we may see Trump try to do this through another attempt at a DACA grand bargain. This idea dominated his agenda in early 2018, but every legislative attempt at a grand bargain failed. This idea was shelved after a federal court blocked Trump’s DACA rescission. It’s probable that Trump will try another grand bargain after his new DACA order, but its prospects will be dimmer with a Democrat-controlled House.
Trump has a new impetus for speeding up his executive order. Judge Paul Grimm, an Obama appointee to the US District Court for the District of Maryland, ruled Friday that the Trump administration must return DACA to its "pre-September 5, 2017 status” and accept new applicants for legal status. The judge based his decision on the Supreme Court’s reversal of Trump’s previous DACA rescission in June [Judge orders Trump administration to accept new DACA applications, by Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, July 17, 2020].
Time is running out and Trump must act to scrap DACA. He can’t allow an amnesty to stand when he’s trying to win as the America First candidate.