MSNBC’s Howard Fineman: Trump Ignoring SCOTUS on DACA Shows “Open Defiance Has Only Just Begun”

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Journalist and MSNBC contributor Howard Fineman says President Donald Trump’s open defiance has only just begun” amid reports that the Trump administration will continue to reject initial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications from immigrants who never obtained the protection from deportation.

The news comes after U.S. District Court Judge Paul Grimm admonished the administration for not complying with the Supreme Court’s decision last month invalidating its attempts to discontinue DACA altogether.

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“That is a problem,” Judge Grimm said last week. “As for the inaccuracy on the website, that has to change and that should be able to change very quickly. … It creates a feeling and a belief that the agency is disregarding binding decisions by appellate and the Supreme Court.”

He added: “There is a cost for not having these things clarified and the plaintiffs have borne the lion’s share of that cost thus far.”

Yesterday, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said the Trump administration would not accept new applications and would only grant one-year extensions to current beneficiaries “on a case by case basis,” a move that flouts Grimm’s ruling.

In a memo, Wolf announced DHS would:

  • Reject all initial DACA requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents, and refund all associated fees, without prejudice to re-filing such requests should DHS determine to begin accepting initial requests again in the future.
  • Adjudicate all pending and future properly submitted DACA renewal requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents from current beneficiaries.
  • Limit the period of any deferred action granted pursuant to the DACA policy after the issuance of this memorandum (and thereby limit the period of any associated work authorization) to one year.
  • Refrain from terminating any grants of previously issued deferred action or revoking any Employment Authorization Documents based solely on the directives in this memorandum for the remaining duration of their validity periods.
  • Reject all pending and future Form I-131 applications for advance parole from beneficiaries of the DACA policy and refund all associated fees, absent exceptional circumstances.
  • Refrain from terminating any grants of previously approved advance parole based solely on the directives in this memorandum for the remaining duration of their validity periods.
  • Exercise its discretionary authority to terminate or deny deferred action at any time when immigration officials determine termination or denial of deferred action is appropriate.
  • Continue to comply with the information-sharing policy as reflected in the DACA Frequently Asked Questions issued alongside the Napolitano Memorandum (which established DACA in 2012), and as set forth in USCIS’s Form I-821D instructions. Nothing in this memorandum makes any change to that policy.