by Andrea Rodes
09/02/2017 - 10:00
DACA, on the brink
President Donald Trump will announce next week a decision on whether to keep an Obama-era program that has allowed some 800,000 undocumented young people - known as DREAMers - to remain in the United States, the White House said Friday.
President Donald Trump will announce on Tuesday a decision on whether to keep an Obama-era program that has allowed some 800,000 undocumented young people - known as DREAMers - to remain in the United States, the White House said Friday.
However, according to Politico, Trump has already decided to end the DACA program.
Launched in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) gave undocumented young people who were brought into the US as children the opportunity to pursue education or jobs without fear of deportation.
As a candidate, Trump promised to end the program, but he has never acted on that promise. On the contrary, he has said repeatedly that Dreamers wouldn't be a priority for immigration officers and expressed sympathy towards them.
Asked whether DREAMers should be worried about the future of DACA, Trump replied: "We love the DREAMers. We love everybody. We think the DREAMers are terrific."
The Obama administration conceived of DACA as a way to aid the intended beneficiaries of the DREAM Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that has been stalled in Congress for more than a decade.
DACA status must be renewed every two years.
FOX News already reported Thursday that Trump was poised to announce the end of DACA, while allowing those who recently renewed their protected status to keep the benefits for the duration of the two-year period.
The president can terminate DACA by executive order, as Obama never secured congressional approval for the initiative.
Though Trump promised to scrap DACA during the 2016 campaign, he acknowledged shortly after becoming president that the issue was difficult and vowed to handle the question "with heart."
The president is under pressure from conservatives to end the program. The attorneys general of Texas and nine other Republican-controlled states have threatened to sue the federal government if Trump does not terminate DACA by Sept. 5.
On Friday, however, Tennessee's attorney general said that his office was withdrawing from the planned suit.
"(T)here is a human element to this, however, that is not lost on me and should not be ignored," Herbert Slatery III wrote in a letter to Tennessee's two senators, Republicans Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker.
Hundreds of prominent business leaders, including the heads of companies such as Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon, wrote to the president urging him to maintain the program and warning of negative economic consequences if DACA is scrapped.
High-ranking Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, have likewise advised Trump to maintain DACA.