KELLY WON'T COMMIT TO DACA DEFENSE: "An Obama-era deportation relief program may soon face a legal challenge - and the Trump administration won't commit to defending it, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told Hispanic lawmakers at a closed-door meeting Wednesday on Capitol Hill," POLITICO's Ted Hesson reports.
"Twenty Democratic members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus pressed Kelly for assurances that he would help preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which grants deportation relief and access to work permits to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. at a young age," he writes. "Kelly told the lawmakers that although he personally supports DACA, he can't guarantee that the administration would defend it in court. He also said that he'd consulted attorneys who told him the program wouldn't survive a legal challenge."
A Texas-led coalition of 10 attorneys general has threatened to sue the Trump administration to eliminate DACA, which was created by President Barack Obama in 2012. Should the coalition follow through, a failure by the administration to defend DACA in court might mean its end. But on Wednesday, the attorneys general of California and Massachusetts said their states they would counter any litigation to end the program. "We are prepared to do everything in our power" to protect the estimated 800,00 undocumented minors identified under the program to date, said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who was joined by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on a conference call with reporters. "Everything is on the table, in terms of the advocacy and the effort we need to engage in." More on Kelly's meeting here.
From Politico's Morning Report