Trump is going to shred the program protecting 'Dreamers' from deportation

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump is set to scrap a program that protected people who entered the United States illegally as children, according to multiple reports
  • The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program protects nearly 800,000 young men and women from deportation
  • DACA enjoys bipartisan support and some notable GOP figures, including Paul Ryan, have urged Trump not to rescind the program
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., August 22, 2017.
Joshua Roberts | Reuters

President Donald Trump is set to scrap an Obama-era program this week that protects people who entered the United States illegally as children, according to multiple reports.

Politico, citing sources, first reported that Trump was persuaded to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program following conversations with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Reuters also reported, citing sources, that the president is expected to rescind the program. NBC News separately confirmed this information.

Sources told NBC that the announcement would likely come Tuesday, but the details aren't final until they are announced.

The White House plans to delay the enforcement of the president's decision for six months to give Congress a window to act, sources said.

The decision is likely to spark political controversy, but it will also fulfill one of the president's core campaign promises. But while candidate Trump pledged to end the program, he later softened his stance, saying he wanted to treat the immigrants with "heart."

On Friday, Trump said he had a "great feeling for DACA."

"We love the dreamers," Trump said, using the name for the people protected under DACA. "We love everybody."

DACA protects nearly 800,000 young men and women. The program, started in 2012 under President Barack Obama, gives those immigrants a two-year period of protection from deportation and permission to work in the United States.

The president's upcoming action could result in many immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children getting deported. NBC News reported that as many as 1 million immigrants could be affected. Research shows the move could also see the U.S. economy take a serious hit if workers and students protected by DACA were faced with deportation.

Trump is under pressure from attorneys general from several states to end the program by September 5. If the federal government did not withdraw DACA by the given date, the attorneys general said they would file a legal challenge to the program in a Texas federal court, according to reports.

The program, however, has supporters in both major parties and some GOP lawmakers have spoken out against scrapping DACA in the past. On Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan and senator Orrin Hatch pushed Trump to not end the program.

But many on the right, even those who support protections for children brought into the country illegally through no design of their own, argue that DACA is unconstitutional, according to Politico. They reason that Obama carried it out unilaterally instead of working through Congress.

In an open letter Thursday, nearly 400 U.S. executives, including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon's Jeff Bezos, urged Trump to retain the protections.

Apple CEO Tim Cook took to Twitter on Sunday and said he stood by his employees, the so-called Dreamers, covered by the program.

Cook Tweet: 250 of my Apple coworkers are #Dreamers. I stand with them. They deserve our respect as equals and a solution rooted in American values.

—Reuters contributed to this report.