Mexico condemns Trump’s decision to end immigrant amnesty

“Mexico deeply regrets the cancellation” of the program known as DACA, President Enrique Pena Nieto said in a tweet.

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“The Mexican government will urge US authorities to find a swift, permanent solution that gives legal certainty to the young people of DACA,” he wrote.

Trump announced permits issued under the program would be gradually phased out as they expire over the next six to 24 months.

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He left it up to Congress to draft an immigration reform to address the legal situation of some 800,000 people formerly protected from deportation under the program, implemented by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Some 625,000 Mexicans are protected under DACA, according to the Mexican foreign ministry.

Pena Nieto said they would be welcomed “with open arms” in Mexico if they ended up being deported to the country of their birth, where many have barely ever lived.

Mexico has a “moral imperative” to lobby the Trump administration and Congress to quickly resolve the legal gray area, Mexico’s Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Sada told a press conference.

“There is no question that setting immigration policy in the United States is the exclusive role of the American people and their institutions,” the foreign ministry said.

“However, our country cannot ignore the fact that thousands of young people born in Mexico will likely be affected by today’s decision.”

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The issue of Mexican immigration to the United States has strained relations between the two neighbors since Trump took office, along with his vows to make Mexico pay for a wall on the border.

Trump’s decision sparked protests in Mexico. On Monday night, some 20 women held a prayer vigil in the northern city of Tijuana against the imminent end of DACA, gathering along the border at a spot where there is already a metal barrier between the two countries.

Another small group protested outside the US embassy in Mexico City on Tuesday.

Among them was recently deported mother Maria Jimenez, 40, whose daughter, Brenda Guadarrama, remained in the US under DACA.

Now 20 years old, Guadarrama has lived in the United States since she was two. Since her mother was sent back to Mexico four months ago, she has had to support her three younger siblings.

“My daughter fought hard to study and get ahead…. She is one of millions of young people who have done nothing but fight for a better future,” Jimenez told AFP.

The legal limbo, she said, “is agony.”

“It’s as if they told you that tomorrow you were going to die.”

Trump pulls plug on ‘Dreamers’ youth immigration program

As the “Dreamers” who have benefited from the five-year-old program were plunged into uncertainty, business leaders, mayors, Democratic lawmakers, unions and civil liberties advocates condemned Trump’s move.

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The action was announced not by the president but by Jeff Sessions, his attorney general, who called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program an unconstitutional overreach by Democratic former President Barack Obama. There would be an “orderly, lawful wind-down,” Sessions said.

Trump issued a written statement saying that “I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognise that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.”

0:00 US rescinds protections for young immigrants Share US rescinds protections for young immigrants

Trump later told reporters he has “great heart” for illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children and he wants Congress to produce a legislative solution for them.

“I have a great heart for the folks we’re talking about, a great love for them,” Trump said 

“I can tell you in speaking to members of Congress they want to be able to do something and do it right and really we have no choice.” 

The administration said nobody covered by the program, which provided work permits in addition to deportation protection and primarily benefits Hispanics, would be affected before March 5. Most of the people covered by DACA are in their 20s.

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By deferring the actual end of the program, Trump effectively kicked responsibility for the fate of those covered by DACA to his fellow Republicans who control Congress. But neither Trump nor Sessions offered details of the type of legislation they would want to see, and Trump’s spokeswoman offered only a broad outline.

Since Trump took office in January, Congress has been unable to pass any major legislation, most notably failing on a healthcare overhaul, and lawmakers have been bitterly divided over immigration in the past.

The looming congressional elections in November 2018 could also complicate prospects for compromise between the two parties and within an ideologically divided Republican Party.

The Democratic attorney general of Massachusetts, Maura Healey, said a coalition of states planned to file suit in the coming days to defend DACA, and one advocacy group announced its own legal action.

0:00 Protests Outside White House After DACA Announcement Share Protests Outside White House After DACA Announcement

“President Trump’s decision to end DACA is a deeply shameful act of political cowardice and a despicable assault on innocent young people in communities across America,” said Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives.

“This is a sad day for our country,” added Facebook Inc (FB.O) founder Mark Zuckerberg. “The decision to end DACA is not just wrong. It is particularly cruel to offer young people the American Dream, encourage them to come out of the shadows and trust our government, and then punish them for it.”

People react toAttorney General Jeff Sessions announce the end of the program that protects immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, known as DACA, AAP

Nearly 800,000 people stepped forward, admitted their illegal immigrant status and provided personal information to the government to apply for the DACA program, and now face the potential of being deported starting in March. The “Dreamers” are a fraction of the roughly 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, most of whom are Hispanic.

Supporters of the program argue that people covered by it were raised and educated in the United States and integrated into society, with scant ties to their countries of origin. Opponents of DACA argue against amnesty for illegal immigrants and say that such immigrants take jobs from US citizens.

“The cancellation of the DACA program is reprehensible,” the US Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a statement.

Sessions said the action does not mean DACA recipients are “bad people or that our nation disrespects or demeans them in any way.”

“To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest, we cannot admit everyone who would like to come here. It’s just that simple. That would be an open-border policy and the American people have rightly rejected that,” Sessions said.

Today is a cruel day for Dreamers and all Americans. Trump’s move to end DACA is a manufactured crisis in response to anti-immigrant leaders

— ACLU National (@ACLU) September 5, 2017

Ending DACA was the latest action by Trump that is sure to alienate Hispanic Americans, a growing segment of the US population and an increasingly important voting bloc. Most of the immigrants protected by DACA came from Mexico and other Latin American countries.

The Mexican government said it “profoundly laments” the decision to phase out DACA and would strengthen efforts to guarantee consular protections for affected Mexican youth.

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Elaine Duke, acting head of the Homeland Security Department, issued a memo rescinding DACA. The department will provide a limited window – until Oct. 5 – for some DACA recipients whose work permits expire before March 5 to apply to renew those permits. In addition, the department will adjudicate any new DACA requests, or renewal requests, accepted as of Sept. 5. This would mean that some beneficiaries of DACA could work legally in the country through 2019.

DACA recipients whose work permits expire will be considered to be in the country and eligible for deportation, but will be a low priority for immigration enforcement, administration officials said.

The administration said the president’s decision was prompted in part by a threat from several Republican state attorneys general, led by Texas, to file legal challenges in federal court if Trump did not act to end DACA.

House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan called on lawmakers to find a long-term solution for the young people affected by the reversal of the program.

“At the heart of this issue are young people who came to this country through no fault of their own, and for many of them it’s the only country they know. Their status is one of many immigration issues, such as border security and interior enforcement, which Congress has failed to adequately address over the years,” Ryan said.

Trump made a crackdown on illegal immigrants a centerpiece of his 2016 election campaign and his administration has stepped up immigration arrests. As a presidential candidate Trump promised to deport every illegal immigrant.

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Trump, who as recently as Friday said he “loved” the Dreamers, left the DACA announcement to Sessions, with whom the president has had tensions arising from the ongoing investigation into potential collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia.

DACA was devised after the Republican-led Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform that would have created a pathway for citizenship for certain illegal immigrants.

The decision to scrap it is the latest action by Trump to erase key parts of his Democratic predecessor’s legacy.

This includes pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accord, abandoning a 12-nation Pacific trade deal, seeking to dismantle the Obamacare healthcare law, rolling back environmental protections, reversing parts of Obama’s opening to Cuba and removing protections for transgender people.

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Trump ends ‘Dreamer’ immigration program

Donald Trump has scrapped an Obama-era program that protects from deportation immigrants brought illegally into the United States as children, known as the “Dreamers”, delaying implementation until March and giving a gridlocked Congress six months to decide the fate of almost 800,000 young people.

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The announcement has plunged those that have benefited from the five-year-old program into uncertainty, while business and religious leaders, mayors, governors, Democratic lawmakers, unions, civil liberties advocates and former Democratic President Barack Obama all condemned Trump’s move.

Attorney-General Jeff Sessions announced the move saying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is an unconstitutional overreach by Obama. There will be an “orderly, lawful wind-down,” Sessions said.

Trump later issued a written statement saying that “I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are (a) nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws.”

He denounced Obama’s program as an “amnesty-first approach” toward illegal immigrants and pressed his nationalist “America First” message, saying that despite concerns voiced by his critics about the fate of the Dreamers, “Above all else, we must remember that young Americans have dreams too.”

Obama issued his own statement calling Trump’s action a political decision, defending DACA’s legality and urging Congress to protect Dreamers.

“This is about young people who grew up in America – kids who study in our schools, young adults who are starting careers, patriots who pledge allegiance to our flag. These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper,” Obama said.

The Trump administration said nobody covered by the program, which provided work permits in addition to deportation protection and primarily benefits Hispanics, would be affected before March 5. Most people covered by DACA are in their 20s.

Trump shifted responsibility to a Congress controlled by his fellow Republicans and said it was now up to lawmakers to pass immigration legislation that could address the fate of those protected by DACA who would be in danger of deportation.

Neither Trump nor Sessions offered details of the type of legislation they would want to see, and Trump’s spokeswoman offered only a broad outline.

“I have a love for these people (DACA recipients), and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly,” Trump later told reporters at the White House, adding, “I think it’s going to work out very well.”

Since Trump took office in January, Congress has been unable to pass any major legislation, most notably failing on a healthcare overhaul, and lawmakers have been bitterly divided over immigration in the past.

“President Trump’s decision to end DACA is a deeply shameful act of political cowardice and a despicable assault on innocent young people in communities across America,” said Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives.

The Democratic attorney general of Massachusetts, Maura Healey, said a coalition of states planned to file suit in the coming days to defend DACA, and one advocacy group announced its own legal action.

Facebook Inc founder Mark Zuckerberg said the decision marked a sad day for the US.

“The decision to end DACA is not just wrong. It is particularly cruel to offer young people the American Dream, encourage them to come out of the shadows and trust our government, and then punish them for it,” Zuckerberg said.

Microsoft Corp president Brad Smith urged Congress to prioritise the humanitarian needs of these people above tax-cut legislation sought by Trump.

Trbojevics eye own brotherly era at Manly

They were the original Prince and Gift of Brookvale for a decade, but statistics show Jake and Tom Trbojevic are on track to emulate the feats of Brett and Glenn Stewart.

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The similarities between the two sets of Manly brothers are uncanny. Both include a lightning-fast fullback and skilful lock. Both have telepathic-like understanding in attack, and are vitally safe in defence.

As the Trbojevics prepare for their first finals match against Penrith on Saturday, numbers from Fox Sport Stats show just how quickly they’re escaping the shadow of the Stewarts.

Tom will turn 21 next month, and already has 30 tries to his name – the exact same amount Brett did on his 21st birthday.

A more reliable body has allowed Tom to play an extra 12 games than Brett, but he already averages more linebreaks, metres and tackle busts per game.

Close to the line, he’s even more dangerous with 35 try-assists to Brett’s five at the same age.

Stewart’s playmaking ability developed to the point where it became his strongest bow late in his career, but Tom says he learned much of his attacking prowess from his predecessor.

“He’s probably one of the best No.1s to play this game,” Trbojevic said.

“Watching him, the way he talked, the way he was always there. He was always pushing up through the middle, every opportunity he got he took it.

“I got to play alongside him and train with him. I saw it first-hand.”

It was fitting that as Brett Stewart watched his first Manly game of the year live on Saturday, Trbojevic produced one of the best games of his career against Penrith.

He scored once, had a hand in two others, and ran a career-high 232 metres with 10 tackle busts.

Trbojevic has made Manly’s No.1 jersey for the new era his own, but admitted in hindsight the challenge of taking over from Stewart’s mantle had been difficult.

“When you look at the big picture it’s very hard to follow a player like Brett Stewart,” he said.

“If I get to do half the things he’s done in the game I’ll be very happy.”

Up front, Jake will turn 24 this summer, and has already played an extra 23 games than Glenn did before the same birthday.

At the same age, Glenn was slightly more crafty – averaging more try and line-break assists. Meanwhile Jake averages more metres and tackles than Glenn at 23.

The Stewarts, of course, won two premierships in their 12 and 14-year careers at Manly.

But Jake and Tom’s first big chance to start their era of success will come this weekend.

“It’s exciting,” Jake said.

“I just really enjoy playing alongside my brother and all my other teammates.

“We’ve got a really great squad and everyone gets along really well.

“Now we’ve got an opportunity to play in the finals, it’s really exciting.”

Senate inquiry into citizenship changes recommends watering down English test

In a report tabled in parliament Tuesday night, the committee has suggested a new English language test ‘should not be so high as to disqualify from citizenship many Australians who, in the past, and with a more basic competency in the English language, have proven to be valuable members of the Australian community’.

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The committee, chaired by coalition senator Ian Macdonald, found a good understanding of the English language is essential to fulfill the obligations of Australian citizenship, but cautioned against ‘the adoption of a standard that many current citizens could not reach’.

During public hearings the government’s push to require migrants to pass a standalone English test at IELTS Band 6 was widely criticised as too strict and impossible for less-educated new arrivals.

The committee also recommended the government reconsider plans to impose a ban on applications for people who fail the citizenship test three times.

It has suggested additional tests should be allowed on a cost-recovery basis instead, which it believes would still deter less-genuine applicants.

Retrospectivity recommendation

The government’s push to make permanent residents wait four years instead of one before they can apply for citizenship also raised concerns because of it retrospective nature.

The committee has recommended that migrants who were already permanent residents before the Turnbull government’s April 20 announcement be allowed to apply for citizenship under the old rules instead of being forced to wait an extra three years.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton informed the committee that as of mid-July this year there were 47,328 people who would be affected because they lodged their citizenship applications on or after April 20.

It was estimated that more than half – 25,788 – would not meet the new residence requirement.

0:00 NXT Senator Stirling Griff on which components the party opposes Share NXT Senator Stirling Griff on which components the party opposes

Legislation all but doomed without NXT support

With Labor, the Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team opposed to the changes, the government will be forced to do a deal to get the legislation through parliament.

In a dissenting report by Labor senators, the English language requirements were labelled ‘unreasonable and snobbish’.

A spokesperson for the Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, told SBS World News the government is discussing the bill with the crossbenchers as is normally the case.