Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Trump Administration Revokes Blocked Program to Protect Immigrant Parents

 / Updated  / Source: Associated Press
Six-year-old Michael Claros joins his parents Miguel Claros, left, and Fatima Quisbert, right, during a rally for immigration reform in this Nov. 20, 2015, file photo outside the Supreme Court.Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

WASHINGTON — An Obama-era immigration program intended to protect parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents from deportation has been formally cancelled, fulfilling a key campaign promise from President Donald Trump, the Homeland Security Department announced late Thursday.

Homeland Security John Kelly formally revoked a policy memo that created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program. The revocation came on the fifth anniversary of another effort that has protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.

ANALYSIS: DACA Boosts Young Immigrants’ Well-Being, Mental Health

The program to protect parents was announced by President Barack Obama in November 2014 but was never fully launched. It was intended to keep the immigrant parents safe from deportation and provide them with a renewable work permit good for two years, but it was blocked by a federal judge in Texas after 26 states filed suit against the federal government and challenged the effort's legality. Republicans decried the effort at "backdoor amnesty" and argued that Obama overstepped his authority by protecting a specific class of immigrants living in the United States illegally.

 Six-year-old Michael Claros joins his parents Miguel Claros, left, and Fatima Quisbert, right, during a rally for immigration reform in this Nov. 20, 2015, file photo outside the Supreme Court. Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

The protection program for parents, like the one for young immigrants, was created with a policy memo during the Obama administration. Both programs required that participants meet certain conditions, including not having a criminal history. As part of the expansion to protect immigrant parents living in the United States illegally, the Obama administration also sought to provide the young immigrants with work permits good for three years at a time. That provision was also blocked by the Texas judge.

Revoking the memo and ending the stalled program fulfill a key campaign promise by Trump, who pledged to "immediately" cancel both efforts. Trump has not said what he plans to do about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but so far most immigrants protected by the effort have not been targeted by stepped-up efforts to find and deport immigrants living in the country illegally. As of March 31, about 787,000 young immigrants have been approved for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, according to government data.

Arrests of immigrants in the interior of the country have increased under the Trump administration, but deportations are slightly down as fewer people have been caught crossing the Mexican border into the United States illegally.

Trump has made immigration enforcement a top priority and has vowed to continue a crackdown on those living in U.S. illegally and those trying to sneak into the country.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.