The Trump administration has not yet made a decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects some young undocumented immigrants, White House officials said Thursday.
“This is under review, there are a lot of components that need to be looked at, and once a decision is made we will certainly let you guys know,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.
President Donald Trump campaigned against the program, known as DACA, and promised to end it during his run for office in 2016. But since taking office, he has expressed some sympathy for the thousands of young people it covers, saying he wants to treat the Dreamers with “heart.”
When former President Barack Obama signed the legislation in 2012, it allowed some undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as kids to stay and work legally in the United States. Since then, DACA has given protections to more than 800,000 immigrants.
Now, amidst the chaos of Hurricane Harvey, Trump has seen pressure from immigration rights activists and some lawmakers to extend the program. But he also faces a looming deadline as several conservative states threatened to sue his administration if he does not repeal the program by Sept. 5.
Despite news reports on Thursday that the Trump administration had decided to scrap DACA, Sanders reiterated that the President has not come to a decision. She also told reporters she did not have a timeline for when the program’s fate would be decided.
“No offense to your colleague from FOX News but I think that I am little bit better informed than they are in terms of when the White House has made a decision,” Sanders said Thursday.
Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert did say that while the states’ lawsuit threat would not affect the administration’s policy decision, it “will affect the timing of it,” according to Politico.