During his press conference on Thursday, Donald Trump refused to give much away when he will stop shielding from deportation people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, a group that have become known as “dreamers.” However, two of his aides have said that the administration has figured out a way to stop protecting dreamers without Trump getting much blood on his hands.
The LA Times reported that Trump has already drafted an executive order to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program that allows hundreds of thousands of the immigrants to live and work openly in the U.S. However, Trump has been reluctant to actually sign this order, so his advisors are working on other ways to deal with this group of illegal immigrants.
“DACA is a very, very difficult subject for me,” Trump said Thursday, adding that he will address the issue “with heart.… It’s one of the most difficult subjects I have because you have these incredible kids.”
Trump is in a difficult position because many of his supporters want DACA gone, but Republican strategists have warned that disbanding it could mobilize latino and minority voters against him once and for all.
“If he repeals DACA, people will start screaming at him,” said Alfonso Aguilar, a Republican strategist who heads the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.
Senior White House officials have therefore devised two options of taking on DACA that will not directly involve Trump. Those two options are a lawsuit brought by states, and new legal guidance that details who is a priority for deportation.
The second option would involve Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions directing the Department of Justice to look over DACA. If they decide the program is not legal or is no longer a responsible use of prosecutorial discretion, the Department of Homeland Security would be instructed to stop awarding and renewing work permits.
If states choose to file a lawsuit against DACA, Sessions could instruct his lawyers not to defend the program in court, exposing it to indefinite suspension by a federal judge.
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