President Donald Trump is expected to announce the end of a program which protects undocumented immigrants from deportation, but is expected to give them a six-month delay in order to give Congress ample time to create legislation to keep the immigrants in the country.
The New York Times reported Sunday on Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which would satisfy one of his biggest campaign promises, but would leave the futures of nearly 800,000 immigrants participating in the program hanging by a thread.
According to the Times, it is currently unknown whether Trump’s plan would allow undocumented immigrants to renew their protected status during the six month period.
It’s also uncertain whether Congress will actually be able to reach a compromise on the program because lawmakers have had trouble agreeing on a measure throughout the years.
Congress already has a busy schedule ahead, with passing tax reform, avoiding a government shutdown and distributing federal funds for Hurricane Harvey all already on the table to be worked on before immigration even comes up for discussion.
President Barack Obama created DACA in 2012 under an executive order which stopped the deportation of undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children. The program also offers work permits to hundreds of thousands of immigrants, allowing them to have jobs in the U.S.
Republicans harshly criticized Obama for the executive order, questioning whether he had the constitutional authority to create DACA. President Trump was a vocal opponent of the order on the campaign trail, repeatedly vowing to repeal the program to protect American workers.
Earlier this year, Trump promised to treat the undocumented immigrants, called "Dreamers," with "great heart."
One Florida lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., has already begun hammering away at a compromise on DACA, in hopes of keeping undocumented immigrants in the country under some form of legislative compromise.
Working in conjunction with North Carolina's U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, Curbelo's plan would provide amnesty for around 800,000 undocumented immigrants who received work permits under DACA and could provide green cards for up to 2.5 million young immigrants if they go to college, join the military or keep a job.
Florida lawmakers have come out in support of the program in some form, urging Trump not to pull the plug on DACA though most say working with Congress is key to creating a path for undocumented immigrants moving forward.
“My hope is that as part of this process we can work on a way to deal with this issue and solve it through legislation, which is the right way to do it and the constitutional way to do it,” U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio told CNN in June.
Gov. Rick Scott said Friday he was “encouraged” by legislation from U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla, and U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC, which would provide an eventual path to citizenship for the undocumented immigrants.
Curbelo and Tillis’ plan would provide amnesty for around 800,000 undocumented immigrants who received work permits under DACA and could provide green cards for up to 2.5 million young immigrants if they go to college, join the military or keep a job.
Some Florida lawmakers, like U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, said they’d support working on legislation to address DACA.
“I remain ready to work with Speaker Ryan and others to find a commonsense legislative fix,” Diaz-Balart wrote on Twitter Friday.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.