President Donald Trump has decided to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children, Politico reports.
Politico writes that senior White House aides huddled Sunday afternoon to discuss the rollout of a decision likely to ignite a political firestorm, and fulfill one of the president’s core campaign promises.
Politico adds that Trump has faced strong warnings from members of his own party not to scrap the program, and he has wrestled for months with whether to do away with the DACA.
However, conversations with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who argued that Congress, rather than the executive branch, is responsible for writing immigration law, helped persuade the president to terminate the program and kick the issue to Congress, the sources said.
Acknowledging the reservations held by many lawmakers, the White House plans to delay the implementation of the Trump’s decision for six months, giving Congress a window to act, according to one White House official. But a senior White House aide said that chief of staff John Kelly, who has been running the West Wing policy process on the issue, “thinks Congress should’ve gotten its act together a lot longer ago.”
Politico notes that Trump is expected to formally make that announcement on Tuesday, and the White House informed House Speaker Paul Ryan of the president’s decision on Sunday morning, according to a source close to the administration. However, Ryan had said during a radio interview on Friday that he didn’t think the president should terminate DACA, and that Congress should act on the issue.
The White House and Congress each have argued that the other is responsible for determining the fate of the approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants who are benefiting from DACA. Though most Republicans believe that rolling back DACA is a solid legal decision, they are conscious of the difficult emotional terrain. Some GOP lawmakers, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, have said that Congress needs to pass a law to protect the so-called Dreamers.
“My hope is that as part of this process we can work on a way to deal with this issue and solve it through legislation, which is the right way to do it and the constitutional way to do it,” Rubio told CNN in June.
Trump’s expected decision to scrap DACA within six months represents another challenge for Ryan and fellow congressional Republicans, who are facing an end-of-September deadline to avert a government shutdown and government debt default, while also tackling a Hurricane Harvey relief package and a major tax reform push, Politico comments.