Two leading Republican lawmakers this week publicly pushed back at the Trump administration ending an Obama-era program deferring deportation for immigrants illegally brought to the U.S. as children.
Both House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and senior Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) said they preferred President Donald Trump would leave the issue to Congress, rather than acting unilaterally as former President Barack Obama did in creating the program. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program resulted in authorities deferring deportation for nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants, according to The Hill.
“I actually don't think he should do that and I believe that this is something Congress has to fix,” Ryan reportedly told a news outlet in his home district on Friday. “These are kids who know no other country, who were brought here by their parents and who know no other home,” Ryan said.
In a statement, Hatch similarly urged the president to let Congress craft a solution to the problems DACA attempts to address.
“Like the president, I've long advocated for tougher enforcement of our existing immigration laws. But we also need a workable, permanent solution for individuals who entered our country unlawfully as children through no fault of their own and who have built their lives here,” Hatch said.
While recent reports have indicated that the administration would soon end the DACA program, the White House said on Thursday that it hadn't yet made a final decision on that front. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders specifically refused to issue a timeline on the White House's decision-making with regard to DACA.
On Friday, however, Trump said the White House would issue a decision on DACA either that day or over the weekend. “We'll issue it sometime over the weekend; sometime today or over the weekend, we'll have a decision. We'll issue it sometime over the weekend, maybe this afternoon,” Trump said.