Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Racial Justice | Tracking COVID-19 (coronavirus)

White House Says Trump’s DACA Announcement Coming Tuesday

A woman holds up a signs in support of the Obama administration program known...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: A woman holds up a signs in support of the Obama administration program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, during an immigration reform rally at the White House in Washington, Aug. 15, 2017.

The White House says President Donald Trump will announce a decision Tuesday on the fate of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children — immigrants the president is calling "terrific" and says he loves.

"We love the dreamers, we love everybody," Trump told reporters Friday, using a shorthand term for the nearly 800,000 young people who were given a reprieve from deportation and temporary work permits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program created by the Obama administration.

Asked what he would say to young immigrants who are awaiting his move, scared about their fate, he replied, "I think the dreamers are terrific."

Trump has been torn over what to do with DACA as he faces a Tuesday deadline set by a group of Republican state lawmakers who are threatening to challenge the program in court unless Trump ends it by that date.

RELATED: Survey: DACA Recipients Continue To Make Economic Strides

"I think the decision itself is weighing on him, certainly," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday.

Trump had slammed the program as illegal "amnesty" during his campaign and pledged to end it on his first day in office. But he has changed his rhetoric since the election, telling those covered they could "rest easy" and continuing to grant new two-year, renewable work permits.

Trump has spent the last week mulling his choices, cycling through his options again and again, according to several people with knowledge of the deliberations. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.

Many DACA advocates still expect the president to announce that he will halt the issuance of new work permits under the program, effectively phasing it out.

Another option under consideration would be for the White House to announce that it will allow the lawsuit to go forward and decline to have the Justice Department defend DACA in court, taking the matter out of their hands.

RELATED: Trial For First Known DACA Deportee Gets Green Light In San Diego

One person familiar with the discussions said the president is likely ultimately to choose to end or phase out the program. But the person said the president was looking for ways to soften the blow in various ways, such as ending the program at a future date in order to giving Congress time to come up with an alternative protection.

In the meantime, advocates and lawmakers have been trying to apply last-minute pressure with Twitter messages, public comments and events.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said he hoped the president would choose not to roll back DACA protections and instead give Congress time to act.

"These are kids who know no other country, who are brought here by their parents and don't know another home. And so I really do believe that there needs to be a legislative solution," he told Wisconsin radio station WCLO.

Utah GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch also urged Trump not to revoke former President Barack Obama's efforts to protect "individuals who entered our country unlawfully as children through no fault of their own and who have built their lives here."

Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday that he had a "great feeling for DACA" and said he'd be announcing a decision as soon as Friday afternoon and by Monday, at the latest.

Sanders later told reporters the White House was "in the process of finalizing" its decision and would be announcing it Tuesday.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.