President Trump said Friday that he could unveil "sometime today" his decision on the fate of a controversial Obama administration program that allowed people brought into the country illegally as children to remain in the country.
The president told reporters in the Oval Office that he would announce his decision later Friday or "over the weekend," a move that will end months of speculation about how his administration would handle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Trump's pending decision on DACA comes in the face of an early September deadline to address the program, as a coalition of conservative attorneys general had threatened to challenge it in court by Sept. 5.
Congressional Republicans urged Trump this week to preserve the program, which shields roughly 800,000 people know as "dreamers" from deportation and provides them with two-year work permits. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch were among the GOP lawmakers who urged Trump to press for a legislative solution to the problems posed by DACA rather than scrapping the program altogether.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., called on Congress Friday to "take immediate action to protect" people covered by DACA.
"We love the dreamers," Trump told reporters on Friday.
Trump had promised on the campaign trail to rescind DACA, which he described as unconstitutional.
But since taking office, Trump has acknowledged the need to use "special heart" when approaching the delicate issue of undocumented children.
"I always understood that with DACA, we need special heart," Trump told the Washington Examiner in April. "We have to understand the other side of that equation, and I do understand that side, and I am somebody with a lot of heart and you know, you've heard what I said. Just, relax and let's let it all play out. Because I think everyone's going to be happy in the end."