Key Republicans met with President Trump in the Oval Office on December 19 to discuss the best approach to dealing with immigrants who have relied on the DACA program to remain in the United States.
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was created by President in 2012 as a program to allow immigrants who came to the US as children to receive renewable, two-year deportation deferrals so they could remain in the United States and work and/or study legally. About 800,000 people are in the program, which President Trump nixed in September 2017 by executive order. Trump extended the program for six additional months, telling Congress it was up them to deal with the issue.
House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul of Texas, Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho and Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona all met with Trump before the winter break to plot a course of action for DACA.
Since the six-month extension of DACA ends in March, a fix for the program is a big priority for the first quarter of 2018. Ideally, some Republicans are saying that they need to get to work on this immediately after the recess, because if talks on DACA creep too close to the January 19 government funding deadline, Republicans fear that Democrats will use that deadline to demand more of their priorities get addressed.
Republicans, for their part, would like to see a DACA fix tied to more money for border security.