DONALD TRUMP is expected today to scrap an Obama-era law that granted legal status to hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought to the US illegally as children.
Sources say he will, however, delay ending protection for the young immigrants — known as Dreamers — for six months to give Congress a chance to come up with an alternative that is acceptable to hardline Republicans.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or Daca programme, has given nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally on two-year, renewable work permits. Many of them came to the US as very young children and have no memory of the country they were born in.
News of the president’s expected decision drew strong reactions from both sides.
‘If reports are true, president Trump better prepare for the civil rights fight of his administration,’ New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez tweeted. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican from Florida, tweeted: ‘After teasing #Dreamers for months with talk of his “great heart,” @POTUS slams door on them. Some “heart”.’
But Steve King, an Iowa Republican who has called Daca unconstitutional, warned that any delay in dismantling it would amount to ‘Republican suicide’.
During his presidential campaign Mr Trump slammed Daca as an illegal ‘amnesty’. But since his election, he has wavered on the issue, saying: ‘I love these kids.’