The lives of 800,000 young people were upended when the Trump administration decided to rescind DACA in September.
Since then, Dreamers and other activists have fought to get Congress to pass legislation that would allow DACA recipients, who were brought to the U.S. as children, and other immigrants, to stay in the U.S. legally.
During an interview with the Associated Press Tuesday, U.S. Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the Trump administration would consider legislation that would provide young, undocumented people with a pathway to citizenship.
This marks a departure from Trump’s previous comments. In September, he gave Congress until March 5 to pass legislation to fix the issue but said he would not consider citizenship for DACA recipients.
Congress is now considering three options for immigration reform for young undocumented immigrants: a pathway to citizenship, permanent residency or residency for a certain amount of time, Nielsen said.
She told the AP: “I think [Trump is] open to hearing about the different possibilities and what it means but, to my knowledge, there certainly hasn’t been any decision from the White House.”
Nielsen, however, confirmed the administration would seek to implement anti-immigrant measures along with any legislative fix, including funding for the border wall and “local police working with immigration authorities,” by which she probably means a crackdown on sanctuary cities. Immigration activists have repeatedly said they don’t want these measures attached to the legislation.
Nielsen was in San Diego, CA, where the AP interview took place, to look at prototypes of the proposed border wall in the city. Trump is expected to ask for more than $3 billion over the next two year for the wall.
The same day Nielsen spoke with the AP, Trump took to Twitter to say Democrats are “doing nothing” for DACA recipients.
Nielsen said officials will discuss the options further with Congress this week, and that immigration reform will be a legislative priority this year.