'We Love the DREAMers. We Love Everybody.'
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President Donald Trump is expected to announce he is rescinding DACA, a program instituted by President Barack Obama that protects from deportation undocumented immigrants who were brought to America by their parents before their 16th birthday. There are over 800,000 current enrollees. Acceptance is determined in part by having a clean record. They also have to pass background checks.
Friday afternoon in the Oval Office, after signing a declaration making Sunday a national day of prayer for victims of Hurricane Harvey, the president was asked by reporters if he has reached a decision on DACA. Fox News first reported Thursday Trump would announce as early as Friday that he is killing the program.
"Sometime today or over the weekend we'll have a decision," Trump told reporters.
Asked if DREAMers – undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have really not known any other country as home – Trump replied, "We love the DREAMers. We love everybody."
He then dismissed the press pool, but then added, "We'll issue it sometime over the weekend, maybe this afternoon."
According to the pool report Trump also said: “Will be releasing on DACA sometime over the weekend, probably Sunday, Saturday; latest will be Monday."
If Trump does kill DACA, it is expected enrollees would be allowed to stay in the U.S. until their permits expire. The permits are valid for a two-year period, and are renewable, unless the president cancels the program. Then, an estimated 1400 DREAMers a day, each day, would become subject to deportation.
The President and First Lady are headed back to Texas on Saturday. It would be excruciatingly offensive and cruel if Trump were to kill the program and announce it in the Lone Star state, where many DREAMers live, many of whom are struggling after Hurricane Harvey. In Houston alone an estimated 575,000 undocumented immigrants, not all enrolled in DACA, live.
Trump on Friday afternoon declared Sunday a national day of prayer for Harvey victims. It would also be excruciatingly offensive and cruel to make the announcement on that day, if he does decide to end DACA.
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