Yale Immigration Lawyer Doubts Congress Will Act On DACA

Sep 6, 2017

One of the nation’s top immigration lawyers says she’s skeptical that Congress will act on DACA before it ends in March. The Obama-era program granted two-year work permits to people that illegally came to the U.S. as kids. The Trump administration announced on Monday that it would end the program.

Cristina Rodriguez, a professor at Yale Law School, says the argument that the Trump administration used to end DACA was based on the idea that Congress, not President Obama, should have created the immigration reform. So she says Trump appears to punt the decision about the fate of DACA...to Congress.

“I think it’s more than a little disingenuous for the administration to say that it’s giving Congress that opportunity because Congress can do very little in six months, and on this sort of contentious issue, I would be skeptical they would actually come forward with legislation.”

Rodriguez says there could be some hope that Congress will act.

“It may be if the Republicans in Congress who are saying they wanted to preserve DACA are being genuine that this is the kick in the pants that they need to enact the legislation. I’m just skeptical that that’s what will happen.”

Rodriguez says it’s unclear if the Administration will decide to deport 800,000 people protected under DACA. She says if Congress fails to act, a new President could decide to pass a DACA-like policy under executive order.