In response to a decision given by US District Court Judge William Alsup last Tuesday, the Trump administration is immediately resuming the granting of work permits and the extension of the status as quasi-legal residents for “Dreamers.”
The White House said it is complying with the federal court order to continue the renewal process for recipients of Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals, and initiative introduced by President Obama in 2012, which President Trump curtailed several months ago.
The program, known as DACA, allows people who were brought to the US as children and who have grown up here and work and study here, to continue with their lives without fear of deportation. These people are known as “Dreamers,” by their supporters, who believe these hard-working, successful people are living the American Dream, and should be able to stay in the US where they contribute to society in many positive ways.
President Trump would like to see comprehensive immigration reform enacted by Congress which will address the problem of the Dreamers in a more permanent fashion. The problem is Trump would like to see any solution to this problem tied to funding for his expensive border wall, which many legislators see as a large waste of money.
Trump responded negatively on Twitter to the judge’s decision to reinstate DACA, saying that it demonstrates “how broken and unfair our Court System is when the opposing side in a case (such as DACA) always runs to the 9th Circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts.”
Judge Alsup said the decision to end DACA by Attorney General Jeff Sessions was “based on a flawed legal premise” on the part of Sessions.
In a separate by related ruling by Alsup, plaintiffs in several of the five lawsuits he is overseeing can now continue with legal claims that the cancellation of DACA was influenced by Trump’s racism which he continuously expressed during his campaign for president in 2016.
Neither the Justice Department nor Homeland Security offer a response to the judgement. Despite President Trump’s complaints, the Justice Department has not filed an appeal or request a stay of the decision.
After what is being described as a successful meeting between two high-level leaders of North and South Korea, there is discussion that a meeting between the two heads of the quarreling countries will soon take place.
President Moon Jae-in of South Korea told journalists that he is ready to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a position he has long held but only seems could become reality in the wake of the successful recent high-level talks. The meeting led to an invitation for North Korea to participate in the upcoming Winter Olympics, to be held in South Korea in February.
There have been no meetings between the respective heads of the two Koreas since 2007, and Kim Jong Un has never met with any world leader since he took over from his father’s reign in 2011.
The meeting is not expected any time soon, but some analysts believe it could happen sometime within the next five years, the duration of Moon’s term as president. He came to power in May 2017.
“Kim has never met any foreign leader, so it would be meaningful for him to make his first summit a meeting between Koreans,” one expert said.
The agreement allows North Korea to send officials, athletes, cheerleaders, reporters and others to the Olympics in Pyeongchang, a mountainous area near the border between North and South. The number of people in this delegation will number between 400 and 500. The deal also says that the two Koreas will actively cooperate in the Olympics to “enhance the prestige of the Korean people.”
The next step is military talks to try and de-escalate the recent nuclear threats from the North Korean missile program. A military hotline is going to be re-established, opening inter-Korean communications, which had originally been shut down due to nuclear tensions.
“It’s still very early in this process, and we have to see how much momentum it acquires, but so far this year is definitely getting off to a very different start,” said John Delury, a China and North Korea expert at Yonsei University in Seoul. “You have to knock on the door to see if it will open.”
Defense Secretary James Mattis announced that the US will not suspend its military exercises it is holding close by the Korean Peninsula just because of the Winter Olympics, which are scheduled to take place in South Korea this coming February.
Due to the past year’s escalation in missile tests coming from North Korea there is international worry that the safety of the Olympic games in February could be at stake if North Korea is provoked in any way.
US military exercises in the region have been known to annoy North Korea in the past. The regime often complains that US maneuvers are in preparation for an invasion, even though the US has explained that the exercises are just to improve the US’s military readiness. Despite the reassurances, North Korea’s state-run media said that joint exercises between South Korea and the US was provocative, pushing North Korea and the US “to the brink of nuclear war.”
South Korea is considering postponing or cancelling a planned military exercise due to commence in the spring, in order to reduce tension and/or conflict during the Olympics. However, Mattis said the US would not change its own plans due to diplomatic issues. Mattis did leave open the possibility that the exercises could be delayed for other reasons, such as the schedule of local holidays or the availability of equipment or ships.
“The rescheduling of exercises will be, as always, subject to both countries,” Mattis told reporters. “If a pause is, I’m pausing them for a period of time because of a diplomatic issue or something, no, I don’t anticipate that right now.”
In September North Korea tested an hydrogen bomb underground, while all year long it has been firing missiles and conducting nuclear tests. Last month it fired its highest-flying missile so far. None of this seems to worry Mattis, who said that “Nothing impresses him” when he was asked if he was impressed by North Korea’s accomplishments in the development of nuclear capability.