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The Trump administration allows DACA renewals while it works to end the program

The Trump administration has not accepted new DACA applications since 2017, but it allows current holders to renew their status. The administration’s Tuesday announcement will allow these extensions to continue through the summer of 2021. Details of the review and application rules will be set out in a Department of Justice memo released later on Tuesday, the official said.

The continued rejection of new applications comes despite the fact that a federal court in Maryland issued an order for the administration to accept them two weeks ago. The official claimed on Tuesday that the Justice Department memo counts as an intervention that would allow the administration to continue to reject new applicants in accordance with the court order.

But when asked if he expects legal challenges for the continued rejection of new applications, the official replied frankly, “Yes, of course.”

Few things are clear for Trump’s future DACA approach, as he balances immigrants ‘hardliners’ demands and asks for compassion from the majority of voters who support the program. Trump has pledged to treat Dreamers with “compassion”, but has nevertheless attempted to end the program as a means of forcing Democrats to the immigration negotiating table.

The President’s attempt to repeal DACA was foiled by the Supreme Court last month for procedural reasons. But the 5-4 decision paved the way for Trump to end the Obama era program.

Official Tuesday hinted that that was the goal of the review, saying the government “still has serious doubts about the legality of DACA policy.”

“The legal justification for saying that this was an illegal exercise of executive power is fairly clear,” the official said.