White House chief of staff John Kelly said Tuesday that President Trump is not expected to extend the March 5 date by which he wants Congress to pass legislation to protect hundreds of thousands of people that sought protection under former President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“I doubt very much” Trump would extend that date, Kelly told reporters, according to the Washington Post.
Kelly also told reporters at the Capitol that he was unsure “if this president has the authority to extend” the date because the program was not based in law and was created on illegal grounds under the Obama administration.
That fits with the opinion of others in the Trump administration, who say Trump rescinded DACA in September, and that the March 5 date is effectively a grace period by which Trump was hoping Congress would legislate a new program. Many in Trump's administration say the program is already gone, and that officials are choosing not to enforce immigration law against the so-called Dreamers who participated in DACA, in order to allow for a smooth transition to a program created by Congress.
However, while senators are currently negotiating a new program, a deal is nowhere in sight, as Republicans are also hoping to attach tough border measures that Democrats oppose.
On Monday the Trump administration rejected proposed legislation from Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Chris Coons, D-Del., that would grant permanent legal status to Dreamers, but fell short of providing the $25 to $30 billion in funding Trump requested for the border wall.