Top officials at the Department of Homeland Security met this week to review the status of a deferred-action program for illegal immigrants that could face a legal challenge from Texas next month, raising fears among advocates that President Trump could choose to eliminate it.
Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke and Thomas Homan, the acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, were among those who gathered Monday to deliberate over the future of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), according to an agency official with knowledge of the meeting.
During his campaign, Trump vowed to end DACA, which began in 2012 under the Obama administration, on his first day in office, calling it an unconstitutional abuse of executive authority. But Trump has not followed through on his threats. The program has provided renewable, two-year work permits to nearly 800,000 immigrants who came to the country illegally as children.
Chad Wolf, DHS’s acting chief of staff; deputy general counsel Dimple Shah; and James D. Nealon, a former U.S. ambassador to Honduras working on policy at the agency, also attended the meeting this week, according to the official familiar with the meeting.
It is not clear what conclusions the group reached. But rumors swept through the immigrant rights community Thursday that a decision from Trump is imminent.