Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today plans to end the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Applications for DACA will no longer be accepted. For current recipients the program will be phased out. The government will only continue to renew existing permits during the next six months.
DACA was created in 2012 through an executive order by Prez Obama. The program shields from deportation about 800,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children. It did not provide legal status to the so-called Dreamers but allowed them to have work permits.
Prez Trump urged members of Congress to come together and reform the immigration legislation. Preferably before the six months are over. “Congress, get ready to do your job – DACA!” he tweeted.
Prez Trump endorsed today a new Senate bill aimed at immigration reform. Under the acronym RAISE (Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy) it proposes to lower Immigration levels over the next ten years to ultimately 500,000 permanent immigrants per year.
This goal would be reached by removing some categories that US citizens and Permanent Residents are currently allowed to sponsor. Only spouses and unmarried minor children would be eligible for immigration. Furthermore the yearly number of refugees permanently allowed in would be limited to 50,000. The Diversity Visa Lottery program would be cancelled.
The bill also proposes a more merit based immigration system (like Canada and Australia have). Points would be awarded based on factors such as English ability, education levels, job skills. The limit for employment-based Green Cards would however stay at its current level of 140,000.