Trump administration wants to expand DACA protections in an effort to win GOP support
The White House on Tuesday announced it would expand protections for Dreamers under President Donald Trump’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, according to a memo to federal agencies and congressional staff.
The memo from Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, a top Trump ally, would allow federal contractors and subcontractors to apply for exemptions from the DACA program, which allows people brought to the U.S. as children to stay and work legally if they meet certain criteria.
The White House has been lobbying lawmakers to expand the DACA protections since Trump announced he would end the program in June.
The Obama administration also extended the protections, but it was limited to some workers who arrived as children.
Under the Trump administration, the program is expected to be extended to more than 6 million people who came to the country as children, which is roughly the same number as the 1.3 million people whose applications were approved in 2016, according the White House.
Under Kelly’s proposal, Dreamers who arrived before the DACA expansion would be allowed to apply to the federal government for DACA extensions.
Those who arrived after would be able to apply only for an extension.
The Trump administration is expected soon to release a revised draft of the Dreamer policy, and Kelly is expected in a speech Tuesday to call for a renewal of the DACA provisions.
The president’s top immigration adviser, Peter Navarro, has said the Trump team will seek a broader DACA expansion.
The program is the Obama administration’s signature immigration policy and has been a point of contention between Republicans and Democrats since it was enacted.
Trump, however, has promised to keep the DACA benefits.