President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening said that if Congress does not act on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program within the allotted six months, he will “revisit” the issue.
“Congress now has 6 months to legalise DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!” he tweeted.
Trump did not elaborate on how he would “revisit” DACA, but the tweet could indicate that the next six months might not provide a final answer on the fate of the policy, just hours after members of the Trump administration said they were killing it.
In announcing the end of DACA earlier on Tuesday, the White House said it would allow a six-month phase-out period for Congress to enact new protections for “Dreamers” — the young immigrants DACA shielded from deportation after living in the US illegally since childhood.
The tweet comes after Trump and his administration officials assailed DACA, which was implemented in 2012 by President Barack Obama, as “unlawful and unconstitutional and cannot be successfully defended in court.” Trump had faced a lawsuit filed by by officials from 10 Republican states if he did not announce he would end DACA by September 5.
“Simply put, if we are to further our goal of strengthening the constitutional order and rule of law in America the Department of Justice cannot defend this overreach,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday while announcing an end to the program.
Trump’s decision to rescind the program was widely unpopular — particularly among the Democrats who had championed the program since 2012, but also among some conservatives who called for compassion for the roughly 800,000 DACA recipients who have lived in the US for years and in many cases know no other home.
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