House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi denounced President Trump's plan to end the immigration program known as DACA, calling it "shameful...despicable, cruel and heartless."
Pelosi, D-Calif., joined other Democrats and some Republicans in opposing the move to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which is facing a court challenge.
The program allows young people who arrived illegally as children to obtain work permits and some federal benefits.
Pelosi called for "an immediate response from Congress," to ensure those in the program are not deported, although there is no indication the Trump Administration will move to deport anybody.
"President Trump's decision to end DACA is a deeply shameful act of political cowardice and a despicable assault on innocent young people in communities across America," Pelosi said in the statement. "Deporting DREAMers means destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of patriotic young people, costing the economy billions and betraying the fundamental values of the American Dream."
Among the Republicans opposed to the Trump administration move on DACA is Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
McCain issued a statement Tuesday calling the decision "the wrong approach" to immigration policy, even though he opposed Obama's move at the time to create DACA.
"The 800,000 innocent young people granted deferred action under DACA over the last several years are pursuing degrees, starting careers, and contributing to our communities in important ways," McCain said. "While I disagreed with President Obama's unilateral action on this issue, I believe that rescinding DACA at this time is an unacceptable reversal of the promises and opportunities that have been conferred to these individuals."