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Trump Terminates DAPA Program Leaving 5 Milion Undocummented Inmigrants Without Protection

First Posted: Jun 16, 2017 01:00 PM EDT

In a week of governmental efforts to slow immigration flows down, the Trump administration has formally stopped the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program from taking root.

On Thursday, Secretary John Kelly of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an official memorandum rescinding DAPA. The program served to protect undocumented immigrants living in the United States and whose children are American citizens.

The immigration policy was first announced by former President Barack Obama back in the fall of 2014. The attempt to grant amnesty, however, was legally stonewalled in the courts and never took off the ground. The implementation of DAPA would have applied to an estimated 5 million undocumented immigrants. The effect of the decision is more far-reaching, however, as reports indicate that roughly 9 million people are part of families categorized as "mixed status."

DHS also issued a statement announcing that DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, program would remain intact. This still protects children aged 16 or under who have lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007. As of 2012, the DACA program has shielded 750,000 children from deportation.

Rescinding DAPA, however, suggests that more undocumented immigrants are bound to be deported. In an ironic twist, the end of the program also marks the 5-year anniversary of DACA's inception. Many humanitarian agencies have expressed strong concerns when the U.S. government rejects undocumented parents from staying in the U.S. and, yet, permits their children to remain.

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