President Trump is mulling a split decision on the “Dreamers.”
White House sources say the president is moving toward ending new work permits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, without changing the status of the roughly 800,000 already enrolled in the program.
A decision on the future of the “Dreamers” is expected Tuesday.
Trump has spent the last week trying to decide what to do with the program started by former President Barack Obama in 2012, which allows young immigrants brought to the country as children to work in the US legally, while shielding them from deportation.
Despite Trump’s strident campaign speeches calling DACA an illegal “amnesty,” the fate of the young people already in the program is a key concern, according to several people familiar with his deliberations.
Ending new permits without scrapping the program altogether could be a compromise to buy time for Congress to provide alternative protection for the Dreamers, who registered after being told they would not be deported.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and other legislators are urging the president to hold off scrapping DACA, to give them time to come up with a legislative solution for those now covered by the program.
“These are kids who know no other country, who are brought here by their parents and don’t know another home. And so I really do believe that there needs to be a legislative solution,” Ryan told a Wisconsin radio station.
Trump’s decision comes as a deadline set by 10 Republican state officials critical of DACA approaches. The group told US Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a June letter they would challenge DACA in court by Sept. 5 if the president didn’t end the program.
Late Friday, one of the state attorneys general who had signed the letter to Sessions switched course.
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced his office was dropping its support of the lawsuit and preferred legislation to protect the Dreamers instead.
The “human element” of the program “should not be ignored,” Slatery said.
“Many of the DACA recipients . . . have outstanding accomplishments and laudable ambitions, which if achieved, will be of great benefit and service to our country,” Slatery said. “They have an appreciation for the opportunities afforded them by our country.”
With Post wires