Earlier this month Donald Trump announced he would be doing away with the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Now, he’s after another group of immigrants. Trump and his administration are drafting a new policy to deport more than 150,000 immigrant children that came here on their own from Central America.
Most of these children have traveled thousands of miles alone from Central American countries, including Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, to escape violence and poverty. They left their families behind for a chance at a better life.
According to two sources with internal knowledge of the debate who spoke to the Miami Herald, The Department of Justice and Homeland Security is coming up with a policy to deport these children by the time they turn 18. They will also not get a chance to plead their case before an immigration judge.
Speaking about the new policy plans, a former U.S. Justice Department official told the Herald, “The concern is that most people at DOJ know this will likely be viewed as illegal and do not want to have to defend this in court if they can avoid it.”
Current law “doesn’t give the administration a lot of flexibility with how to deal with unaccompanied children,” said a U.S. official familiar with the internal debate about the policy. “This administration still has its hands somewhat tied with what it can do with that population,” that person said.
According to the Herald, the new policy is part of Jeff Sessions’ plan to not have to create another protected group of illegal immigrants like those under DACA.