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  • Article: Why The Trump Administration Officially Declared DAPA to Be Dead and Let DACA Live Another Day By Kevin R. Johnson

    Why The Trump Administration Officially Declared DAPA to Be Dead and Let DACA Live Another Day


    As ImmigrationProf previously reported, the latest word from the Trump administration is that DAPA is dead and DACA survives -- at least for the time-being.* Hamed Aleaziz of the San Francisco Chronicle *offers a good analysis of the latest developments in deferred action.
    As we all know, the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program, announced by President Obama in 2015, has long been*dead.* A divided Supreme Court (4-4) in United States v. Texas (2016) allowed the injunction by the lower courts preventing its implementation to stand.
    The Trump administration has been criticized and here (and here) by some of his immigration base for not dismantling the predecessor to DAPA, the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.* During the campaign, Trump criticized DACA as unconstitutional.* The President has not dismantled DACA although a leaked order would have slowly ended the program.*
    I think that the President is reluctant to expressly end DACA because (1) the DREAMERs are a most sympathetic group of undocumented immigrants with a broad base of political support; and (2) are organized politically and is a formidable political force.* DACA's abrupt end would almost certainly cause protests and mass action.* And, for those who have not noticed, *the Trump administration is quite busy -- some might say "under siege" -- at the moment with a number of other matters, including but not limited to, obstruction of justice, allegations of ties with Putin's Russia, etc.
    Nonetheless, playing to the President's immigration base, the Trump administration*has gone after some well-known DACA recipients, most recently Jessica Colotl, but also Daniela Vargas.* The arrests provoked controversy and legal action.
    My analysis*is that, to minimize political controversy at a time when the administration is under siege on non-immigration matters, the administration (1) expressly ended DAPA and DACA-plus, playing to the enforcement-oriented base of the Republican Party (and the group calling for the total end to DACA); and (2) let the original DACA remain in place, thus avoiding a political outburst by the DREAMers and their allies.
    The political compromise may remain in place for the time-being.* Many will be watching the future of DACA.* And they should be.* Political vigilance is what has brought DACA and has kept it*alive to now.

    This post originally appeared on Law Professor Blogs © 2014-2017 by Law Professor Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

    About The Author

    Kevin Johnson Kevin Johnson is Dean, Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law, and Professor of Chicana/o Studies. He joined the UC Davis law faculty in 1989 and was named Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 1998. Johnson became Dean in 2008. He has taught a wide array of classes, including immigration law, civil procedure, complex litigation, Latinos and Latinas and the law, and Critical Race Theory. In 1993, he was the recipient of the law school's Distinguished Teaching Award.Dean Johnson has published extensively on immigration law and civil rights. Published in 1999, his book How Did You Get to Be Mexican? A White/Brown Man's Search for Identity was nominated for the 2000 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. Dean Johnson’s latest book, Immigration Law and the US-Mexico Border (2011), received the Latino Literacy Now’s International Latino Book Awards – Best Reference Book. Dean Johnson blogs at ImmigrationProf, and is a regular contributor on immigration on SCOTUSblog. A regular participant in national and international conferences, Dean Johnson has also held leadership positions in the Association of American Law Schools and is the recipient of an array of honors and awards. He is quoted regularly by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and other national and international news outlets.

    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
      ImmigrationLawBlogs -
      Unless I read the decisions incorrectly, neither the Texas federal district court nor the 5th Circuit enjoined granting deportation deferments under DAPA. They merely enjoined granting "affirmative" benefits such as EAD work authorization or advance parole under that program.

      On the political side, Trump seems to be taking some flak from his openly bigoted right wing base for continuing DACA. The criticism he is on the receiving end of from immigrant-hating white supremacists such as Ann Coulter may turn out to be the brightest spot of Trump's entire administration - for as long as DACA lasts.

      Roger Algase
      Attorney at Law
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