Trump administration to end DACA program
Attorney General Jeff Sessions makes announcement Tuesday
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it will wind down a program protecting young immigrants from deportation.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday called President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program, an "unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch."
But recipients of the designation said it isn’t as simple as that.
"It means he doesn't really want to deal with us,” Seven Flores said. “He doesn't care so much about us."
Sessions said the Trump administration is urging Congress to find an alternate way to protect young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.
He said the U.S. needs to have a lawful immigration process that "serves the national interest" and that the U.S. cannot admit everyone who wants to come to the country.
DACA has provided nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation, as well as the ability to work legally in the U.S.
Flores said an exception should be made for people who came to America with their parents, who were fleeing violence and poverty.
"This is one of those cases in which it's completely justified to make an exception because it's the moral thing to do," he said. "Remember it's not just us. It's our allies. It's our parents. It's also many people who are close to us."
House Speaker Paul Ryan said DACA was a "clear abuse of executive authority" and now it's incumbent upon Congress to act.
In a statement Tuesday, the Wisconsin Republican said the heart of the issue is "young people who came to this country through no fault of their own."
Ryan said it's his hope that the House and Senate -- with the president's leadership -- will find consensus on a permanent legislative solution to the issue. He said it's important to ensure that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute "as a valued party of this great country."
Ryan's statement came after Sessions' announcement.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called the decision "a deeply shameful act of political cowardice."
Pelosi also said in a statement that the widely expected announcement was a "despicable assault on innocent young people in communities across America."
The California lawmaker said the decision requires immediate action from the Republican-led Congress, and Ryan and the GOP leadership must hold a vote immediately to address the issue.
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