Posted: 3:49 pm Monday, January 23rd, 2017
By Jamie Dupree
Despite repeated Republican calls during the 2016 campaign to overturn President Obama’s controversial executive actions on immigration, White House officials now indicate that President Trump will not move quickly to reverse those Obama actions, instead taking time to wait on Republicans in Congress to develop broader plans to deal with illegal immigration.
“We don’t have anything in front of us right now to sign on that,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at a Monday briefing, as he indicated that Mr. Trump may wait to see progress by lawmakers on a number of immigration-related initiatives, like a border wall and tracking down criminal aliens.
“Give us a little time; see what Congress moves forward with,” Spicer added.
That explanation doesn’t exactly line up with the election year calls by Mr. Trump to get rid of the Obama executive actions on immigration – as it remains a prominent item on the Trump campaign website to this day:
“Immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties,” it states, referring to the programs which allowed an estimated 4-5 million people to remain in the United States.
With no immediate move by the Trump Administration to do away with what’s known as the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability) programs, those people who signed up, and were granted extra time to stay in the U.S. can do so.
It raised eyebrows among critics of the program who wanted a President Trump to change course immediately.
“Wait, who won the election?” asked Mark Krikorian, a frequent critic of the Obama Administration immigration actions.
Meanwhile, Krikorian said he had been told – and news organizations reported – that because no move has been made by the Trump Administration, U.S. immigration officials are continuing the processing of DACA and DAPA related applications and renewals.
From @USCIS email reply to me: "We are still accepting/processing DACA requests under existing policy."
— (((Mark Krikorian))) (@MarkSKrikorian) January 23, 2017
In other words – the Obama immigration plans are still functioning under the Trump Administration.
Several times at the Monday briefing, Spicer used the word “comprehensive” to detail work on immigration – that has often been seen as a code word for broader immigration reform legislation, something many supporters of Mr. Trump hotly oppose.
— Al Punto Univision (@AlPunto) January 23, 2017
It was not apparent how soon a decision would be made on the DACA and DAPA programs – but it doesn’t seem like it will be overturned “immediately” as promised.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.