WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has announced that it will wind down a program protecting young immigrants from deportation
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday called the program known as DACA as an “unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch.”
He says the Trump administration is urging Congress to find an alternate way to protect young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has given nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the country in the form of two-year, renewable permits.
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, President Donald Trump defended his decision to phase out DACA, saying he’s giving Congress a “window of opportunity” to act.
The move comes after a long and notably public deliberation. Despite campaigning as an immigration hard-liner, Trump has said he is sympathetic to the plight of the immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children and in some cases have no memories of the countries they were born in.
But such an approach — essentially kicking the can down the road and letting Congress deal with it— is fraught with uncertainty and political perils that amount, according to one vocal opponent, to “Republican suicide.”
Still other Republicans say they are ready to take on a topic that has proven a non-starter and career-breaker for decades.