President Trump did not take any action today regarding NAFTA or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and Politico reports that, according to a USCIS spokesperson, DACA applications and renewals continue to be processed normally.
Here’s an article from POLITICO that you might find interesting:
Trump administration signals no immediate reversal on Dreamer program
By Josh Gerstein
Updated 01/23/17 03:01 PM EST
Applications from so-called Dreamers seeking to renew their immigration status and work permits are being processed normally, despite President Donald Trump’s repeated claims that the program set up by President Barack Obama is illegal, a government spokesman said Monday.
A spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told POLITICO Monday that there was no immediate change to how the agency handles applications and renewals under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program Obama set up in 2012.
“We are still accepting/processing DACA requests under existing policy,” USCIS spokesman Steve Blando said Monday.
It’s unclear precisely how many applications USCIS approves each day, but according to the most recent public statistics — from the third quarter of last year — an average of about 140 initial applications and 690 renewals were approved each calendar day.
As of September 30, 2016, 73,705 renewals and 46,229 initial applications were pending. It’s unclear whether those numbers surged due to applicants fearing Trump might end the program and how much of that backlog was cleared before Trump was
During the campaign, Trump repeatedly vowed to shut down the Obama-initiated program upon taking office. Trump’s campaign website promises that he will “immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties,” apparently referring both to the 2012 action and a broader move Obama took in 2014 that was blocked by the courts.
However, no move to shut down the program was among the set of presidential directives Trump signed Friday and Monday.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer suggested Monday that despite Trump’s promise to move “immediately” against the Obama immigration actions, discontinuing the DACA program is not a top priority of the new president.
“I think the president has been clear that he is going to prioritize the areas of dealing with the immigration system, both building the wall and making sure that we address people who are in this county illegally. First and foremost, the president’s been very, very clear that we need to direct agencies to focus on those who are in this country illegally and have a record, a criminal record or pose a threat to the American people. That’s where the priority is going to be,” Spicer said during his first briefing for reporters.
Spicer was vague about plans for those who currently have deferred action status or may be applying for it or renewing it soon.
“We’re going to continue to work through the entire number folks that are here illegally but right now the clear focus is on” those who pose a security threat, the spokesman said.
Later in the briefing, Spicer was vague about whether Trump plans any executive action and indicated that the White House is waiting to see what legislation on the issue might find traction on Capitol Hill.
“I don’t have anything further on the executive action front,” Spicer said. “Give us a little bit of time, we ‘ll see what Congress moves forward with.”
in recent weeks, Trump has struck a softer tone on immigration, especially with regards to the so-called Dreamers, who entered the U.S. illegally as children.
“We’re going to work something out,” Trump told Time magazine last month. “On a humanitarian basis it’s a very tough situation. We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud. But that’s a very tough situation.”
On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus appeared to signal that Trump did not intend to move quickly to shut down the DACA program.
“I think we’re going to work with House and Senate leadership as well to get a long-term solution on that issue,” Priebus said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I’m not going to make any commitments today, but, you know, I’ve obviously foreshadowed there a little bit.”
Josh Gerstein is a senior reporter for POLITICO.