DACA DEADLINE

March 06, 2018 at 6:45 pm

Another DACA deadline becomes just another day, as court orders have postponed President Trump’s deadline to end the Obama-era program that protects young illegal immigrants from deportation. With no solution from Congress DACA remains in place for now, but for how long? Beth Fertig, senior reporter for WNYC News, joins us with the latest.

Aired on March 6, 2018. 

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>>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO
"METROFOCUS."
I'M RAFAEL P. RAMON.
LAST SEPTEMBER PRESIDENT TRUMP
ANNOUNCED THAT HE WOULD FACE OUT
DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD
ARRIVALS OR DACA, THE PROGRAM
THAT PROTECTS IMMIGRANTS THAT
ARE BROUGHT TO THE UNITED STATES
ILLEGALLY AS CHILDREN.
TRUMP CHALLENGED CONGRESS TO
COME UP WITH A SOLUTION BY MARCH
5, BUT CONGRESS FAILED TO DO SO.
IN FACT TWO UPPER COURT JUDGES
REFUSED TO ACCEPT DACA.
AS A RESULT, THE SO-CALLED
DREAMERS WHOSE DACA STATUS WAS
SET TO EXPIRE THIS MONTH, WILL
BE ABLE TO REAPPLY FOR TWO MORE
YEARS.
NATIONALLY THERE WERE ALMOST
700,000 DACA RECIPIENTS LAST
FALL.
AND THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
RESEARCHER ESTIMATED THAT ALMOST
42,000 OF THEM LIVE IN NEW YORK
STATE AND ANOTHER 25,000 IN NEW
JERSEY.
SO CLEARLY, THE FUTURE OF D.C.
ACA IS A PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT
HERE IN THE TRI-STATE AREA.
BETH IS A REPORTER IN NYC WHERE
SHE COVERS IMMIGRANT AFFAIRS.
I KNOW IT'S COMPLICATED, BUT I
WONDER IF YOU CAN GIVE US A
QUICK EXPLANATION OF WHAT THE
SUPREME COURT AND THE FEDERAL
COURT DID TO THROW A MONKEY
WRENCH INTO PRESIDENT TRUMP'S
ATTEMPTS TO END DACA?
>> BEST EXPLANATION.
A FEDERAL JUDGE IN CALIFORNIA
SAID THAT THE TRUMP
ADMINISTRATION HAD IMPROPERLY
ENDED DACA, OR HAD GONE OUTABOU
ENDING IT IN THE WRONG WAY,
THEREFORE HE ISSUED AN
INJUNCTION TO KEEP THEM FROM
ENDING IT ON MARCH 5 LIKE THEY
WANTED TO DO.
SO THE GOVERNMENT HAD TO ALLOW
DACA RECIPIENTS WHOSE STATUS WAS
GOING TO EXPIRE BY MARCH 5 WERE
ALLOWED TO REAPPLY.
THEIR STATUS WAS SUPPOSED TO
EXPIRE ANY TIME AFTER MARCH 5,
THEY WERE NOW ALLOWED TO
REAPPLY.
YESTERDAY ON MONDAY, THE TRUMP
ADMINISTRATION WON ONE, ANOTHER
FEDERAL JUDGE IN MARYLAND SAID
ACTUALLY YOU DID EVERYTHING
PROPERLY, IT'S OKAY FOR YOU TO
END DACA.
>> DOES THAT CHANGE ANYTHING?
>> NO, IT CHANGES NOTHING
BECAUSE THERE'S ALREADY THESE
TWO INJUNCTIONS THAT BLOCK THEM
FROM ENDING IT.
AND THOSE WITH DACA STATUS CAN
REAPPLY.
>> ABSENT THE COURT'S RULING,
WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED TO THE
DACA RECIPIENTS AS OF YESTERDAY?
>> THERE'S HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS
OF THEM IN THE COUNTRY, BECAUSE
IT'S A TWO-YEAR PROGRAM, AS I
MENTIONED, THEIR RENEWAL COMES
UP EVERY TWO YEARS.
SO THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATED THAT
13,000 PEOPLE WERE GOING TO
LOSES THEIR DACA PROTECTION,
BECAUSE THAT'S WHEN THEY'RE
COMING UP FOR RENEWAL.
HUGO'S DACA STATUS WAS UP ON
MARCH 5, EXCEPT THIS THIS COURT
RULED THAT HE COULD RENEW.
HE COULD NOW GET ANOTHER
TWO-YEAR EXTENSION.
SO THOSE 13,000 PEOPLE NOW HAVE
A CHANCE TO REAPPLY, AND SO DO
THOSE AFTER THEM.
BUT PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER
APPLIED FOR DACA, THEY CANNOT.
>> SO THE COURT RULING DOESN'T
STOP, THEY STILL CAN'T GET IT
NOW.
>> EXACTLY.
>> SO AS I SAID IN THE
INTRODUCTION, THE PRESIDENT TOLD
CONGRESS, DO SOMETHING IN SIX
MONTHS, PASS A LAW WHICH IS WHAT
IT SHOULD BE, AND I WILL AGREE
WITH YOU AND PROTECT DSACA
RECIPIENTS.
CONGRESS COULDN'T DO IT, EVEN
THOUGH THE SENATE TURNED OUT
FOUR PROPOSALS, ALL OF THEM
WOULD HAVE LEGALIZED THE STATUS
OF DACA RECIPIENTS.
WHY COULDN'T THEY GET IT
TOGETHER?
>> THE SHORT ANSWER IS DESPITE
THERE BEING BIPARTISAN
PROPOSALS, THE PRESIDENT
INSISTED THAT THERE BE
CONDITIONS ATTACHED, ALLOWING
THE SO-CALLED DREAMERS TO STAY
AND APPLY FOR CITIZENSHIP, AND
THOSE WHO ARE NOT YET IN THE
PROGRAM, THERE ARE OVER A
MILLION PEOPLE WHO DON'T HAVE IT
WHO COULD HAVE APPLIED, HE SAID
I WILL ONLY ALLOW THAT IF YOU
GIVE ME THE $25 MILLION OR SO
FOR THE BORDER WALL, AND END
WHAT HE CALLS CHAIN MIGRATION,
WHICH IS REALLY FAMILY
UNIFICATION.
THE PRESIDENT SAID ONLY MINORS,
CHILDREN UNDER 18 AND SPOUSES
SHOULD BE ABLE TO COME.
>> SO DO YOU SEE ANY EXPECTATION
OF COMPROMISE?
>> IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE IT
BECAUSE THE BIPARTISAN PROPOSALS
DIDN'T GO ANYWHERE BECAUSE THE
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WAS SO
AGAINST IT AND HE REFUSED TO
ACCEPT THOSE AND SO CONGRESS
COULDN'T AGREE ON ANYTHING.
SO IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE THERE
WILL BE ANYTHING DONE BY THE
MIDTERM ELECTIONS.
>> ARE DACA RECIPIENTS GOING TO
CONTINUE TO BE IN LEGAL LIMBO?
>> THEY'RE GOING TO KEEP
FIGHTING TO GET THEIR CALLS
HEARD AND KEEP PUTTING PRESSURE
ON THE ADMINISTRATION, THEY HAVE
BEEN RALLYING, A WHOLE BUNCH OF
THEM WERE RALLYING IN D.C. ON
MONDAY AND SOME OF THEM GOT
ARRESTED, BUT THERE'S NO REAL
INCENTIVE FOR CONGRESS TO ACT
AFTER THAT MARCH 5 DEADLINE THAT
THEY FAILED TO EACH.