Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says she would like to see a replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but she believes any legislative amnesty should apply only to the illegal immigrants who originally qualified for protection.
Speaking to reporters during a trip to view wildfire damage in California, Nielsen said the administration is committed to a “permanent” solution for DACA
“Everybody wants to find a solution — a permanent solution — to DACA,” she said, according to the Associated Press. “I mean I really haven’t talked to anybody who has said, ‘Nah, we don’t want to do that.'”
But Nielsen emphasized that any DACA amnesty should be limited to the roughly 800,000 younger illegal immigrants who received protections when the program was in effect, not everyone who was eligible.
Several replacement proposals floating around Capitol Hill would give legal status to far more people than the original DACA beneficiaries. The DACA bill favored by immigration activists and Democratic lawmakers — the Dream Act — would likely offer a path to citizenship for roughly 1.7 million former DACA recipients and similarly situated illegal immigrants.