The Trump administration on Tuesday announced that it was halting applications to an Obama-era program that shields some illegal immigrants from deportations as it considers the policy's future -- just weeks after the Supreme Court shut down efforts to halt the program.
The Supreme Court ruled last month that the administration's decision to rescind the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was done in an "arbitrary and capricious" manner although they did not rule on the merits of the program itself.
As a result, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Tuesday that as it considers the future of the program, it will reject all initial requests for protection, as well as applications for Employment Authorization Documents.
“As the Department continues looking at the policy and considers future action, the fact remains that Congress should act on this matter,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement. “There are important policy reasons that may warrant the full rescission of the DACA policy.”
It is also renewing existing protections for only one year, rather than two.
Trump campaigned on repealing DACA in 2016 and has also floated a legislative fix for the program as part of a broader immigration deal.
A federal judge in Maryland ruled this month that DACA should be restored to its original form before Sept. 2017, but the administration had not said if it would accept new applications.
Two weeks ago the president said he would be signing an executive order in the next few weeks, including a “road to citizenship” for DACA recipients.
“I’m going do a big executive order, I have the power to do it as president and I’m going to make DACA a part of it,” Trump said in an interview with Telemundo anchor Jose Diaz-Balart. Trump added he was still working on the “legal complexities” of keeping DACA in the order.
Days later, Trump again touted that he would be “taking care” of DACA.
“We’re going to be taking care of DACA,” Trump said at a Rose Garden briefing. “I’m going to be signing immigration action, very big merit-based immigration action.
Fox News’ Morgan Phillips, Ronn Blitzer and The Associated Press contributed to this report.