The Trump administration has announced their plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, leaving Congress to decide the fate of nearly 800,000 unauthorized immigrants protected under the program, known as "dreamers." The plan calls for a phase out of DACA over the next six months.
President Donald Trump said in a statement, "As I've said before, we will resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion - but through the lawful Democratic process - while at the same time ensuring that any immigration reform we adopt provides enduring benefits for the American citizens we were elected to serve."
Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement at the Department of Justice on Tuesday saying, "To have a lawful system of immigration that serves the national interest. We cannot admit everyone who would like to come here. It's just that simple."
Two administration officials told ABC News the following details of the president's plan:
- New applications for legal status dated after Sept. 5 will not be considered by the administration.
- Pending applications filed before Tuesday will continue to be processed.
- Anyone with a DACA permit expiring before March 5, 2018, may apply for a two-year renewal of protected status if submitted by Oct. 5.
- Dreamers' protected status will be honored until their expiration date. Permits will end as early as March 6, 2018.
DACA was initiated in 2012 by the Obama administration to allow unauthorized immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to be protected from deportation.
Former President Barack Obama said in a statement, "To target these young people is wrong - because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating - because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel."