Matt Shuham

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at and on Twitter @mattshuham.

Articles by Matt

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday called President Donald Trump’s decision to end DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, “cruel.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that Trump had rescinded the program earlier Tuesday morning. DACA protects nearly 800,000 undocumented young people from deportation. That protection will expire as early as March 6 for some DACA recipients.

DACA recipients whose permits expire on or before March 5, 2018 can apply by Oct. 5 of this year for a two year extension.

Former President Barack Obama said before leaving office that Trump ending DACA would warrant a response from him, though the former President has not yet commented on the development.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) called on President Donald Trump on Tuesday to clarify what kind of legislation he would sign to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced earlier in the day that Trump had rescinded DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which protects nearly 800,000 young undocumented people from deportation. The first deportations of DACA recipients could begin in as little as six months.

Trump said in a statement following Sessions’ announcement: “Congress now has the opportunity to advance responsible immigration reform that puts American jobs and American security first.”

Rubio, in a statement, called on Trump to clarify what he was willing to sign into law.

“It is important that the White House clearly outline what kind of legislation the president is willing to sign,” he wrote. “We have no time to waste on ideas that do not have the votes to pass or that the president won’t sign.”

Rubio also wrote that he had “long supported accommodating those brought to this country illegally through no fault of their own.”

“However,” he added, “I have always felt that President Obama’s executive action was unconstitutional and that the right way to address this issue was through legislation.”

In 2013, Rubio co-authored the so-called “Gang of Eight”’s immigration bill, which included a lengthy path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants. During the 2016 presidential campaign, however, he distanced himself from the effort.

The president and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce resigned Tuesday from President Donald Trump’s National Diversity Council, following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that Trump had ended the DACA program.

“I officially resign from that council, effective immediately,” Javier Palomarez told HLN’s Carol Costello. “There is no letter. This is it. This is the resignation.”

Earlier Tuesday, just before Sessions’ announcement, Palomarez promised to resign should Trump rescind DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which protects nearly 800,000 undocumented young people from deportation.

These are exactly the kind of young people we need in America, and we have a President that committed to taking care of them, and in fact said he would focus his energy on removing criminals,” Palomarez said.

The program will accept no new applicants starting Wednesday. A Department of Homeland Security official told reporters on background Tuesday that DACA recipients whose permits expire before March 5, 2018 would be eligible to re-apply for an additional two years of protection.

Hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients with permits expiring after that date, however, could soon see the information they gave the government as part of the program’s application used to deport them.

Alice Ollstein contributed reporting.

President Donald Trump has ended the DACA program, or “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday. The program will not accept any applications starting Wednesday.

“I’m here today to announce that the program known as DACA, that was effectuated under the Obama administration, is being rescinded,” Sessions said.

In a phone call with reporters Tuesday morning, a DHS official said on background that current DACA beneficiaries whose permits expire before March 5, 2018 would be eligible to re-apply for an extra two years of protected status. However, that means hundreds of thousands of people whose permits expire after March 5 would be eligible for deportation as early as the next day, ABC News first reported.

The official claimed that DHS “will not take action to remove active DACA beneficiaries. The transfer of information from USCIS to ICE would only take place where there is a significant law enforcement or national security interest.”

The attorney general did not take any questions after his announcement Tuesday, but Trump made clear earlier Tuesday that he wished to wash his hands of the problem, telling Congress to legislate a solution — “do your job – DACA!” he tweeted — and allowing underlings in his administration to deliver the news in his place.

DACA currently protects nearly 800,000 young undocumented people from deportation, and it could have protected many more had Trump chosen to maintain the program. Some in Congress, including Republicans, have begun attempts to replace DACA with legislation, but it’s far from likely that both the Republican-controlled House and Senate and the President will agree on a solution to protect undocumented people.

DACA recipients can attend college and receive work permits, among a slew of other benefits. Though the Obama administration did deport DACA recipients who lost protected status due to criminal behavior, such deportations of one-time “Dreamers,” a shorthand for young people protected by DACA, have spiked under the Trump administration, the Los Angeles times reported in April. 

In a statement Tuesday, the acting director of the Department of Homeland Security attempted to paint Trump’s decision as the “least disruptive option,” citing a threat from several Republican attorneys general to sue the government over the program if it was not rescinded by Tuesday.

“As a result of recent litigation, we were faced with two options,” Elaine Duke wrote, “wind the program down in an orderly fashion that protects beneficiaries in the near-term while working with Congress to pass legislation; or allow the judiciary to potentially shut the program down completely and immediately.”

“We chose the least disruptive option,” wrote Duke, who issued the actual memo on Tuesday that ended the program. She said she had received Sessions’ recommendation that the program be rescinded on Monday.

However, during his announcement Tuesday, Sessions seemed to agree with the attorneys general who threatened the lawsuit, saying that former President Obama had overstepped his authority in establishing the program.

“Ending the previous administration’s disrespect for the legislative process is an important first step,” he said.

Trump did in fact pledge during the 2016 presidential campaign to end the program, saying in August of last year that he would “immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties,” referring to DACA and another program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). DAPA never actually went into effect due to a federal judge’s injunction, which eventually resulted in a Supreme Court split on the matter. Trump rescinded DAPA in June.

Still, Trump told ABC News days after his inauguration that Dreamers “shouldn’t be very worried.”

“Where you have great people that are here that have done a good job, they should be far less worried,” he added.

And in April, he told the Associated Press that his administration was “not after the Dreamers, we are after the criminals,” adding: “That is our policy.”

Still, even then, Trump’s promises to DACA recipients were beginning to fray.

Lawyers for Juan Manuel Montes, a 23-year-old DACA recipient, argue that he was deported by immigration agents despite his protected status. Judge Gonzalo Curiel last week said he needed to hear from Montes in person before proceeding with the case, the USA Today reported.

Trump has also strayed from his campaign-era promises to only target “criminal illegal immigrants” for deportation.

That term has come to mean nearly anyone in the United States without proper documentation, including those solely charged with civil immigration violations.

In an expansive executive order days after his inauguration, Trump broadened the Department of Homeland Security’s enforcement priorities to include anyone found to have, among other things, “committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense” or “abused any program related to receipt of public benefits,” and even individuals who, in the opinion of an immigration agent, “pose a risk to public safety or national security.”

And the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan, said in late July that deportations of non-criminal undocumented immigrants had gone from “zero to 100” under Trump’s watch.

“Under the prior administration, noncriminals were not a priority,” Homan said. “So when you go from zero to 100, of course you’re going to see the biggest rise in that.”

There is no evidence that undocumented young people who would otherwise have been eligible for DACA protections won’t now be deported as a result of the President’s actions. Indeed, some DACA recipients and applicants could see the information they gave the government be used against them. 

Rallies to “Protect DACA” have taken place nationwide in recent weeks, and activists gathered in front of the White House Tuesday to protest Trump’s decision.

DACA recipients themselves have frequently rallied in public on the program’s behalf, often resulting in their arrest.

Update 12:05 p.m. ET:

Javier Palomarez has resigned from President Donald Trump’s National Diversity Council.

Original post below:

The president and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said Tuesday that he would resign from President Donald Trump’s National Diversity Council if the President rescinds DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The DACA program, established via executive action by President Barack Obama, has so far shielded nearly 800,000 undocumented people from deportation. Trump essentially confirmed Tuesday morning that he would eliminate the program and leave it to Congress to legislate a replacement, if any.

“I am going to work as hard as I possibly can to make sure that he understands that we ought to be protecting these young people,” Javier Palomarez told CNN’s Poppy Harlow Tuesday morning. Earlier, he called DACA recipients “exactly the kind of young people we need in America.”

“So if he ends it–” Harlow interjected. “If he ends it, Javier, are you out?”

“I am out if he ends it,” Palomarez responded.

ABC News reported Tuesday morning, citing two unnamed administration officials, that the Trump administration would not consider new DACA applications as of September 5, and that current DACA recipients with permits expiring before March 5 could apply for a two-year renewal.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will deliver remarks on the future of the DACA program at 11 a.m. ET Tuesday, according to a schedule released by the Department of Justice. He will reportedly announce the end of the program with a six-month delay.

Donald Trump Jr. will be paid $100,000 to speak at the University of North Texas in October, according to a contract published Thursday by the student-run North Texas Daily newspaper.

Funding for the Kuehne Speaker Series, for whose 2017-18 season Trump is the first speaker, comes from what the paper described as a mix of “private donors and sponsors, including the Office of the President and over 20 other UNT institutions.”

Trump’s contract also includes up to $5,000 for meals and travel, according to the North Texas Daily. UNT will provide his hotel accommodations.

In addition to attending a dinner on Oct. 23 and a VIP breakfast and reception the following morning before the event, Trump is contractually obligated to deliver a 30-minute address and take questions in a 30-minute Q&A.

“Questions provided ahead of time to Mr. Trump,” the contract notes.

Tennessee’s attorney general sent a remarkable letter Friday, withdrawing his threat to sue the government if President Donald Trump did not rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) by Sept. 5.

Until Friday afternoon, Herbert Slatery III was one of 10 Republican attorneys general, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who threatened to include DACA in a larger lawsuit in order to phase out the program, if Trump didn’t do so himself.

On Friday, Slatery wrote in a letter to Tennessee’s two senators that “[t]here is a human element to this, however, that is not lost on me and should not be ignored.”

“Many of the DACA recipients, some of whose records I reviewed, have outstanding accomplishments and laudable ambitions, which if achieved, will be of great benefit and service to our country,” he continued. “They have an appreciation for the opportunities afforded to them by our country.”

“At this time, our Office has decided not to challenge DACA in the litigation, because we believe there is a better approach that we outline below,” he wrote.

Later in the letter, Slatery specifically named the 2017 version of the so-called “Dream Act,” introduced this year by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) to establish a path to citizenship for undocumented young people who meet certain criteria.

The Washington Post reported in July that the bill would grant permanent legal status to “more than 1 million young people who arrived in the United States before they turned 18, passed security checks and met other criteria, including enrolling in college, joining the military or finding jobs.”

“Whether this particular legislation is a viable solution is a matter for congressional debate,” Slatery wrote. “It is not a comprehensive answer to our immigration policy challenges, but it would be a very good start.”

The Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) celebrated the announcement:

Read Slatery’s letter below via TIRRC:

Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday afternoon that President Donald Trump would announce his decision concerning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) on Tuesday, Sept. 5 — the deadline that 10 Republican attorneys general set for Trump before they promised to sue the government to end the program.

Earlier Friday, Trump said he would announce his decision on DACA over the weekend. Later, he said the decision would come Monday at latest.

“I just spoke with the President, and we’re in the process of finalizing that decision and those details and we’re actually going to make that announcement on Tuesday of next week,” she said.

“The President’s priorities on immigration are to create a system that encourages legal immigration and benefits our economy and American workers,” she added.

“The President’s been very clear, he loves people. And he wants to make sure that this decision is done correctly, and so that’s what he’s doing now is finalizing that part,” she said.

Earlier Friday, Trump offered similar empty rhetoric, saying “we love the Dreamers,” but failing to commit definitively that he would not expel the roughly 800,000 young people who are protected from deportation by the program.

President Donald Trump said Friday that he would announce a decision on the future of the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program (DACA) “sometime today or over the weekend.”

“Should Dreamers be worried?” a reporter in the Oval Office scrum asked next, using a shorthand for young undocumented immigrants who have been shielded from deportation by DACA.

“We love the Dreamers,” he said. “We love everybody. Thank you very much.”

“What do you say to the Dreamers who are scared right now?” a reporter asked later.

“I think the Dreamers are terrific,” Trump replied.

In subsequent pool footage from the Oval Office, Trump speculated that his decision could come as late as Monday. He added: “Great feeling for DACA.”

The comments marked more empty rhetoric from the President. Though he has not touched the DACA program so far, he pledged to eliminate it during the 2016 presidential campaign and has since only assured DACA recipients that his administration would “show great heart,” toward them.

Ten Republican attorneys general have threatened to sue to end the program if Trump does not rescind the executive order that former President Barack Obama used to create it by Sept. 5.

This post has been updated.