Perez pushes DREAM Act as Trump's DACA deadline passes

Perez pushes DREAM Act as Trump's DACA deadline passes

A week ago, the Supreme Court halted President Trump's plans to accelerate a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals hearing in his attempt to put an end to the program that protects undocumented youth from US deportation.

Hundreds of activists and Dreamers descended on Washington to press lawmakers into action.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services did not begin accepting DACA renewals until January 13 following the California judge's ruling.

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Trump said in September that Congress had until March 5 to come up with a solution to keep DACA recipients from being deported.

A federal court order is the only thing standing between the Dreamers and deportation.

"Although the SCOTUS announcement will allow current and previous DACA recipients to renew, thousands of young people will face a gap in protections since they weren't able to renew until now and there continues to be over a million undocumented young people who never had a chance to apply for DACA protections in the first place".

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Republicans lead both chambers of Congress and have been unable to pass any DACA-related bill.

With courts unlikely to rule definitively on the issue before summer, and the case expected to head to the Supreme Court after that, Congress is not expected to act before Election Day in November. On Feb. 26, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the administration's unusual request to intervene, which would have leapfrogged the appeals court. That created a massive backlog of renewal applications, which can take three to five months for the agency to process. And immigration advocates warn that they would be exposed to deportation if they are arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents during that time.

The fight over DACA has sparked a grueling monthslong battle, one that has pitted Democrats in Congress against Republican lawmakers who say the program is an overreach of power. To qualify, they needed to have arrived before their 16th birthday, been under 31 in June 2012, completed high school or served in the military, and have clean criminal records.

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