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‘We love Dreamers,’ Trump says of DACA program

President Donald Trump suggested Friday that he may not terminate an Obama-era program that shields illegal immigrant children from deportation.

The president said he’ll make an announcement as soon as this afternoon, although he left himself some wiggle room to do it by the end of the weekend.

‘We love the Dreamers. We love everybody,’ Trump said Friday in the Oval Office during an unrelated event.

Later during a briefing on Hurricane Harvey relief, he promised to reveal his decision ‘sometime over the weekend, probably Sunday [or] Saturday. Latest will be Monday.’

President Donald Trump suggested Friday that he may not terminate an Obama-era program that shields illegal immigrant children from deportation

The White House said yesterday that Trump had not arrived at a decision yet, swatting down reports that he was moving to get rid of it. 

A group of conservative attorneys general is trying to force Trump’s hand with a threat to sue the Department of Justice unless Trump disbands the program by Sept. 5.

Leading the charge is Texas AG Ken Paxton. He’ll go ahead with the suit, regardless of the disaster relief efforts in his state, his office told the Texas Tribune on Thursday.

House Speaker Paul Ryan meanwhile urged Trump to keep the program, saying Friday on a radio show, ‘I believe that this is something that Congress has to fix.’

A senior administration official told Fox News yesterday that Trump has already decided to to ax the program. 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told journalists shortly after the item went up that the policy was still under review, though.

‘No offense to your colleague from Fox News, but I think I’m a little better informed than they are in terms of when the White House has made a decision,’ Sanders told a reporter from the New York Times. ‘And as I just said, it has not been finalized and when it is we will certainly let you know.’ 

An senior adviser to President Trump told DailyMail.com earlier that day that Trump had not ‘firmed up’ a decision, citing Tropical Storm Harvey and the unexpected amount of time and energy federal officials had spent responding to it.

Trump was in Texas for a briefing with state and local officials Tuesday. The White House has confirmed that he’ll make a second trip to Texas, and also Louisiana, tomorrow, most likely to the Houston and Lake Charles areas. 

The White House insisted Thursday that President Donald Trump has not arrived at a decision yet on DACA, the Obama-era program protecting illegal immigrant children from deportation

The White House insisted Thursday that President Donald Trump has not arrived at a decision yet on DACA, the Obama-era program protecting illegal immigrant children from deportation

Protesters marched on Trump Tower on Wednesday urging the president to keep DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, in place

Protesters marched on Trump Tower on Wednesday urging the president to keep DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, in place

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told journalists shortly after an item went up claiming that Trump was termininating DACA that the policy was still under review

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told journalists shortly after an item went up claiming that Trump was termininating DACA that the policy was still under review

An administration official told Fox News later in the day that Trump had come to a decision, and he intends to terminate the policy.

Receipts of deferred action will not have their work visas yanked, the official said, meaning that illegal immigrants benefiting from the program can continue to live and work in the country until their documents expire. For some, that could be another two years. 

Some 800,000 illegal immigrants who came the the U.S. as children are under the protection of the program Barack Obama created without the approval of Congress.

DACA, the acronym for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, allows so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who came to the country as kids, to remain in the United States on a semi-permanent basis. Recipients must reapply every two years for work permits.

As a candidate, Trump said he would end the program that Barack Obama’s administration put into place in 2012. 

But his White House said as soon as he took office that it had no immediate action planned and that it was mainly focused on the removal of criminals. 

Trump said himself in April that Dreamers should ‘rest easy’ for the same reason.

‘This is a case of heart,’ he said at the time. 

He similarly told ABC News, ‘They shouldn’t be very worried.’ Remarking, ‘I do have a big heart.’

An NBC News/Survey Monkey poll released Thursday morning affirmed the popularity of the program with Americans.

Nearly two thirds, 64 percent, said they supported DACA, while 30 percent said they are opposed it. 

Roughly as many Americans, 68 percent, said in the same poll that they view illegal immigrants as a ‘serious problem. 

Despite their concerns about illegal immigration broadly, a large percentage of Americans, 71 percent, also said they believed undocumented immigrants working in the United States should have a pathway to a legal status.

The mixed messages suggest Americans have a nuanced view of the country’s illegal immigration fight, especially when it comes to Dreamers.

Sanders told reporters yesterday afternoon at the White House that Trump was still mulling his options.

‘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,’ she said. 

A senior White House official indicated yesterday morning to DailyMail.com and other outlets that nothing had changed.

‘It’s been a lengthy review process, and the president still hasn’t firmed up his decision,’ the official said, bringing up the ‘unexpected circumstance of the hurricane which is absorbing the president, the vice president, really the Cabinet’s…time and thoughts.’

The official then said, ‘Also, we want to hear from Congress.’ 

Immigrants and advocates across the country are waiting to hear President Donald Trump's decision on whether he will keep DACA which allows young people who immigrated to the U.S. as children to temporarily escape deportation and receive other benefits, started under President Barack Obama in 2012

Immigrants and advocates across the country are waiting to hear President Donald Trump’s decision on whether he will keep DACA which allows young people who immigrated to the U.S. as children to temporarily escape deportation and receive other benefits, started under President Barack Obama in 2012

Reports circulating last week said that Trump was due to make a decision in the coming days. 

The adviser who spoke to DailyMail.com said that was not necessarially the case.

‘The one thing that we’re not really excited about are artificial time frames,’ the Trump aide said. 

The remark about Congress raised the prospect that the administration would be willing to get behind legislation that grants Dreamers permanent resident status or offers them a pathway to citizenship.

Lawmakers have proposed to do both at times. 

‘We call on President Trump to protect DACA and Dreamers – and we need every single Member of Congress and Senator to co-sponsor legislation that would allow Dreamers to work and live in the U.S. and demand a vote on the floor of the House and Senate,’ FWD.us President Todd Schulte said this week. 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk