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Alex Brandon / AP

President Trump is seriously considering ending DACA, the Obama-era policy that shields some illegal immigrants from deportation, before conservative state attorneys general file a court challenge to the program.

Sources familiar with the deliberations tell Axios that Trump has made no final decision, and the White House continues to receive advice from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. Jeff Sessions strongly believes Trump should end DACA; DHS, however, has a more nuanced position, and Trump himself has said he's sympathetic to the children helped by the program.

What is DACA? Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — a program Obama introduced that shields illegal immigrants from deportation and temporarily gives them permits to work and study in the U.S., so long as they arrived as children.

Why this matters: If Trump rescinds the program, it will affect a huge number of people. At least 750,000 people currently have DACA status. Despite promising on the campaign trail to immediately rescind DACA, Trump has wavered since taking office, saying he feels for these children who were brought to the country through no fault of their own. The Trump administration has continued to issue new permits under the program, and with its future unclear, many families are confused and anxious about their futures.

What the administration believes: The Trump administration doesn't believe it has the legal authority to maintain the current program; and DHS has made clear that if Congress wants to keep the principles of DACA in place, it would need to introduce legislation to do so.

What's prompting Trump: On June 29, Texas AG Ken Paxton sent a letter — co-signed by 10 other attorneys general from conservative states — to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in which they "respectfully" request that the Secretary of Homeland Security phase out the DACA program; warning that they'll otherwise amend an existing lawsuit to challenge the program in court.

  • Asked about that threat, Sessions told Fox and Friends: "I like it that our states and localities are holding the federal government to account, expecting us to do what's our responsibility to the state and locals and that's to enforce the law."

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.