President Trump is expected to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children, setting the president in opposition with House Speaker Paul Ryan.
The news that Trump would end the program was first reported by POLITICO Sunday evening. The official announcement is expected Tuesday, although POLITICO’s sources acknowledge that it’s possible the president could change his mind.
In recent weeks, several Republicans have expressed support for DACA, and on Friday, Ryan, who has rarely opposed the president even when many in his own party have, implored the president not to end the program in an interview with a hometown radio station.
“I actually don’t think he should do that,” Ryan said when he was asked on a hometown radio show Friday about Trump ending the program. “I believe that this is something that Congress has to fix.”
Trump promised to end the Obama-era program during the campaign, calling it “one of the most unconstitutional actions ever undertaken by a president.”
In April, however, Trump said dreamers—the young immigrants who are protected by DACA—should “rest easy,” telling the AP that he was “not after the dreamers,” but “after the criminals.”
The program has granted nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants the right to higher education and employment in the United States.
POLITICO reported Sunday that Trump will end the program with a six-month delay, though it is unclear exactly what that means or how it would affect the dreamers protected by the program.
The delay would Congress time to act, should Ryan decide to take action. The move to end the program adds more to the plate of a Congress that has already made many legislative promises as they return from recess, including a Hurricane Harvey relief package and tax reform.
Many Dreamers are also already facing tough times, as a significant number of those protected by DACA are in Texas dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
A large # of DACA ppl are in TX. While dealing w/losing homes in flood, they’ll have to figure out what to do with no work permit renewals. https://t.co/aIB9f4WZOa
— Mana Yegani (@Law_Mana) September 4, 2017
A report from the CATO Institute released Friday found that ending DACA will also have costly effects for employers, with an estimated $6.3 billion in turnover costs, including recruiting and hiring for jobs currently filled by 720,000 dreamers.
“Every week for the next two years, U.S. employers will have to terminate 6,914 employees who currently participate in DACA at a weekly cost of $61 million,” the report from CATO said.
In January, former President Barack Obama told the LA Times that he wanted to “be quiet a little bit,” but that he would speak out on certain issues, one of which was DACA.
“The notion that we would just arbitrarily or because of politics punish those kids, when they didn’t do something themselves … would merit my speaking out,” Obama said.