During Wednesday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the White House plans on releasing an immigration policy framework on Monday.
Asked by a reporter whether their framework will include a permanent solution or pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, Sanders answered, “Well if I told you now it would take away the fun out of Monday.”
The White House appears to believe that the immigration status of nearly 800,000 DACA recipients is game, and that the public should be left in suspense awaiting to hear what they ultimately decide.
On Monday Senate Democrats caved to the demands of Republicans by voting in a favor of a short term spending bill that omitted a fix for DREAMers, in exchange for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “intention” to vote on a DACA fix by March 5, when DACA recipients will no longer be allowed to re-apply for the two year protected status – effectively ending any hope they have of obtaining legal status to live in the country.
But as ThinkProgress has previously reported, many DREAMers don’t have until March 5. An average of 122 people lose their status every day. Roughly 22,000 individuals have lost their DACA protections since September of 2017, when the Trump administration first announced it was ending the program.
Even DACA recipients whose statuses are still lawful are at risk of deportation.
While DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said last week during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that “no one will lose their status until March 5 or later, depending on what happens with the court,” that’s not entirely true.
For instance, Jorge Garcia, a 39-year-old husband and father who has lived in the United States for nearly 30 years, had his story go viral last week. He was able to stay in the United States thanks to extensions under the Obama administration but no longer met the DACA age requirements and was deported to Mexico.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday dodged a question about whether the White House would begin deporting DREAMers after the March deadline.
“We haven’t determined that. We are hopeful we don’t have to do that and we don’t have to get there,” Sanders said.