Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) says that killing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would rank among the “cruelest” decisions by a U.S. president.
Sanders’s remarks follow reports that President Trump plans on scrapping the controversial initiative after a six-month delay.
Taking legal protections away from 800,000 young people raised in this country is absolutely counter to what we stand for as a nation.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) September 4, 2017
If Trump ends DACA, Congress must act immediately to restore it.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) September 4, 2017
Politico reported Sunday that Trump has decided to eliminate DACA, which started under former President Barack Obama.
Trump discussed eliminating the program with top White House aides that evening, according to Politico, after weighing whether or not to get rid of it.
One White House official told Politico that the six-month span would give Congress time to act before DACA’s protections disappear.
Politico reported that Trump opted to cut DACA after Attorney General Jeff Sessions told him Congress should handle immigration law rather than the executive branch.
White House officials warned, however, that “nothing is set in stone until an official announcement has been made.”
Trump is expected to formally announce DACA’s fate Tuesday after nearly 800,000 people who entered the U.S. illegally as children have benefited from it.
DACA temporarily shielded undocumented immigrants who were brought to America as children and then sought work permits from deportation.
So-called “Dreamers” – individuals who receive DACA protections – could apply for a renewable work permit every two years.
Trump has faced pressure from multiple Democrats and even some Republicans not to end DACA.
Several major Republicans have cautioned Trump against ending DACA despite maintaining Obama exceeded his powers when implementing the program.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), for example, told a radio station in Janesville, Wisconsin last Friday that he does not believe Trump should retire DACA.
“I actually don’t think he should do that,” he told WCLO. “That is something that Congress has to fix.”
Trump frequently pledged to crack down on illegal immigration during his 2016 election campaign, and he referred to DACA as unlawful “amnesty” last year.