TheHill reports the Trump administration announced late Friday that all new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be marked as “pending” as officials mull another attempt to scrap the program.
The announcement came during a telephonic federal court hearing in Maryland, according to The Associated Press, which was on the call.
The administration tried to repeal the Obama-era program, though the Supreme Court reversed the move last month, saying it was ended improperly. It opened the door to a future repeal, saying the administration just had to scrap the program in the proper manner.
Immigration activists have said that the government must resume accepting new DACA applications in light of the ruling. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had only been approving renewal applications for DACA recipients who were already enrolled by Sept. 5, 2017.
The government attorney, Stephen Michael Pezzi, said the agency is accepting new applications, but only on a tentative basis as the administration decides if it wants to pursue what is likely to be another contentious effort to repeal DACA. The judge, Paul Grimm, did not weigh in on if the government should accept or reject new applications as it mulls its next move, though he did give the administration 30 days to update its website with new guidance.
The DACA program, in which about 650,000 people are currently enrolled, protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as minors from deportation.