President Donald Trump plans to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, the Obama-era program that grants work permits to immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children without legal documentation, according to two published reports on Sunday.
The White House plans to delay enforcement for six months, giving Congress time to address the politically popular program through legislatively. But, that said, a senior White House aide told Politico that chief of staff John Kelly “thinks Congress should’ve gotten its act together a lot longer ago.”
Trump is expected to make the announcement of his decision on Tuesday, according to White House officials cited by Politico and Axios — which cautioned that the president could still change his mind on the matter.
During a Wisconsin radio interview Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan defended the program to protect the rights of hundreds of thousands of so-called “Dreamers.”
“There are people who are in limbo. These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and don’t know another home,” Ryan said. “And so I really do believe there needs to be a legislative solution, that’s one that we’re working on, and I think we want to give people piece of mind.”
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.”
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella echoed Zuckerberg, writing in a blog post that he is a product of two “uniquely American” attributes: “the ingenuity of American technology reaching me where I was growing up, fueling my dreams, and the enlightened immigration policy that allowed me to pursue my dreams.”
And an open letter from Fwd.us, an immigration reform organization, calling on President Trump to preserve DACA was signed by a veritable who’s who in tech: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, Sheryl Sandberg and Zuckerberg of Facebook, Linkedin CEO Jeff Weiner, and a host of others.