White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said President Trump will announce his decision on whether to continue a controversial Obama administration program that allowed children brought into the country illegally to apply for protections.
"We're actually going to make that announcement on Tuesday of next week," Sanders said in response to a question at Friday's White House press briefing.
There have been reports that Trump will allow people presently covered by protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as Dreamers, to remain in the country until their work permits expire.Such a gradual removal of DACA's authority could give lawmakers time to hammer out a legislative solution that would allow the Dreamers to stay in the country. Trump administration officials have floated the possibility of using DACA as a bargaining chip in Congress to extract concessions from Democrats, such as funding for construction of the border wall.
Trump's decision on DACA will come right at the deadline when a coalition of conservative attorneys general had threatened to challenge it in court Tuesday.
Congressional Republicans urged Trump this week to preserve the program, which shields roughly 800,000 people from deportation and provides them with two-year work permits. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, 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" dreamers covered by DACA.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."