The Trump Administration has announced that it will be phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program over the next six months.
According to the New York Times, Donald Trump is calling on Congress to replace the policy with legislation before it fully expires on March 5, 2018. The move puts a six-month expiration date on legal protections granted to roughly 800,000 “DREAMers” who entered U.S. as minors.
The government will no longer accept new applications from undocumented immigrants to shield them from deportation under the DACA program.
“The program known as DACA that was effectuated under the Obama administration is being rescinded,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions told reporters Tuesday, according to the Times. “The policy was implemented unilaterally, to great controversy and legal concern.”
He added, “The nation must set and enforce a limit on how many immigrants we accept each year, and that means all cannot be accepted.”
Trump’s plans to end the Obama-era program first surfaced over the weekend. Fox News reported earlier in the week that Trump was expected to terminate the program that prevents deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants who entered the country as children with parents who had not obtained proper documentation.
Word of the pending action started a firestorm of opposition, including from giants in the tech world.
“We need a government that protects Dreamers,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote. “They understand all the opportunities they have and want nothing more than the chance to serve their country and their community. And Dreamers deserve that chance.”
Actor George Takei called the move “cruel, divisive and politically motivated,” while director Rob Reiner concluded: “Unfortunately there is no other way to say this: Donald J. Trump is a heartless prick.”