Trump says he may extend DACA deadline, but what immigrant youth need is the DREAM Act

A Republican senator says that Donald Trump told him during a phone conversation last month that if Congress isn’t able to pass a legislative solution for DACA youth by his March 5, 2018 deadline, he’ll consider extending it. But, this is just playing with the lives of undocumented immigrant youth because he’s basically talking about extending a program he’s already rescinded. DACA youth can’t renew their status anymore because of the arbitrary October 5 deadline. New DACA-eligible youth aren’t being accepted into the program anymore, either. Many have already been losing their DACA protections:

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said Trump told him he was willing to “give it some more time” to allow lawmakers to find a solution for “dreamers,” unauthorized immigrants brought to this country as children, if Congress does not pass legislation extending protections before time is up.

“The president’s comment to me was that, ‘We put a six-month deadline out there. Let’s work it out.

we can’t get it worked out in six months, we’ll give it some more time, but we’ve got to get this worked out legislatively,’ Lankford said outside a town hall here Thursday night.

“Pushing back when DACA formally implodes does nothing for 30,000+ already losing DACA because of Trump’s arbitrary renewal date,” tweeted Tom Jawetz of  the Center for American Progress. “And does Trump think we’ve forgotten that when he let [Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III] announce he was killing DACA, he let him call DACA unconstitutional?” Frank Sharry, executive director of immigrant rights group America’s Voice, tweeted “I don’t buy it. At all. It’s Trump trying to regain spotlight after Stephen Miller took the WH out of the picture. On Congress now.”

He’s right. Undocumented immigrant youth can’t keep living their lives in week- or month-long intervals that come at the whim of others and place immense trauma on them, their families, and lives. The March 5 deadline is false one because there’s is a legislative solution that Congress can vote on today, and it’s called the bipartisan Dream Act. The urgency to pass it is now. “If Dreamers are going to be protected,” Sharry continued, “Congress will have to take the lead.”

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