Donald Trump has decided to end President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation, as soon as tomorrow, according to multiple reports.
The fate of DACA had long been up in the air, with Trump at times waffling over whether or not he would maintain, adjust, or cancel it entirely. But according to both McClatchy and Fox News, Trump is set to announce as early as Friday that he will, in fact, end DACA as it currently exists. McClatchy notes that the president is expected to allow immigrants currently under DACA protection to remain within the program until their status expires.
“[Trump has] been advised that it’s in his political interest for him to be the one to make the decision to terminate the program because he’ll get the credit,” one of McClatchy’s administration sources explained.
“If it’s going to end anyway, why not take the credit for it?” the source added, likely in reference to the September 5 deadline imposed by a number of states who have threatened to sue the government to end the program.
While Trump’s expected announcement is likely not to come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s followed his administration’s anti-immigrant crusade, he had attempted to give at least the vague impression that he was in some ways respecting his predecessor’s efforts to protect immigrants who came here as small children.
In April, Trump told DACA recipients they should “rest easy” as he ramped up his deportation efforts against undocumented immigrants. And as early as last week, acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokeswoman Gillian Christensen had told Politico that: “The president has remarked on the need to handle DACA with compassion and with heart.”
Because nothing says “compassion” and “heart” like kicking young adults out of the only country they’ve ever known, right?
Update, 3:41 PM: During her daily press briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied that any final decision has been made on DACA. She did, however, decline to repeat Trump’s earlier claim that DACA recipients should not be “worried” about their future.