The Trump administration scrapped an Obama-era policy that protected undocumented immigrants with children who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, known as the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), The Hill reports.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly sent a memo to agents Thursday telling them not to follow the Obama-era rule, which was previously introduced by his predecessor Jeh Johnson in November 2014.
Moreover, the Department of Homeland Security said that it was ending the DAPA program because there was “no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy”.
DAPA has been involved in legal battles since 2015, when it was put on hold. Texas and 25 other states filed a lawsuit to block President Barack Obama’s policy which would have granted postponed deportation to nearly five million undocumented immigrants.
Hence, if DAPA had been implemented, it would have allowed offer a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrant parents whose children are either residents or citizens of the U.S.
Thursday’s decision does not affect another, related Obama-era memorandum that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), that applies to children who were brought to the United States illegally.
During the presidential campaign, President Donald Trump repeatedly said he would end the deferred deportation policy, calling it “amnesty” and an abuse of the president’s powers.
“DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me. You have these incredible kids, in many cases not in all cases. In some of the cases they’re having DACA and they’re gang members and they’re drug dealers too. But you have some absolutely incredible kids…they were brought here in such a way, it’s a very, very tough subject”, Trump said in February at a news conference.