President Trump struggled with the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provides work permits to nearly a million undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as minors with their parents, the White House said Monday.
“The President wrestled with this decision all throughout the weekend,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in the daily White House press briefing Monday. She added that Trump had spoken with people both opposed and in favor of the program, including its recipients, although she did not provide any specifics.
President Obama established DACA by executive action in 2012 to enable undocumented immigrants who had come to the United States with their parents to apply for a two-year work permit which prohibited the possibility of deportation.
With the Trump Administration’s announcement, current recipients of the program whose benefits will expire within six months have until October 5 to apply for a renewal. DACA requests submitted after Sept. 5 will not be accepted, and requests for renewals that have already been submitted will be assessed on an individual basis.
Although reports that Trump was planning on rescinding the program surfaced last week, Sanders insisted the President made the decision this weekend, feeling the pressure from a group of conservative attorneys general, who had threatened to sue the administration in court if a decision about the fate of the program was not reached by September 5. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Tuesday that the Trump administration will rescind DACA, which is shorthand for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, arguing that the program took jobs away from Americans. The administration will now defer to Congress on any legislative solutions.
“We’ve been clear throughout the process there was not a final decision made until over the weekend because of the back and forth and the complexity of the issue. And the ability to make the right decision and allow Congress to actually do their job and provide a fix instead of just stopping the program. And that was a big point for the President,” she said.