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Trump ending DACA program, which protected 800,000 immigrants


Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, on President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program.

Susan Walsh | AP

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, on President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program.

Scrapping DACA, which started in 2012 under Obama, could affect roughly 800,000 young people registered under the program. It gives the immigrants a two-year period of protection from deportation and allows them to work in the United States.

Here’s what the Trump administration is doing, according to the Department of Homeland Security:

  • Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke has issued a memo formally rescinding DACA and starting what the administration calls an “orderly wind down.”
  • The government will not process any new applications or requests for DACA protection.
  • People currently protected will not be affected before March 5, “so Congress can have time to deliver on appropriate legislative solutions,” according to Duke.
  • Current DACA holders’ protection from deportation and work permits will remain in effect until they expire, at which time they will no longer be shielded. The government will hear all pending applications for DACA protection and renewals and decide on them on a case-by-case basis.

In a tweet Tuesday, Trump said Congress needs to “get ready to do your job” on DACA. He did not signal what specific action he wants Congress to take in relation to the program.

In a separate statement, Trump said he looks forward “to working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to finally address all of these issues in a manner that puts the hardworking citizens of our country first.”

“As I’ve said before, we will resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion — but through the lawful Democratic process — while at the same time ensuring that any immigration reform we adopt provides enduring benefits for the American citizens we were elected to serve. We must also have heart and compassion for unemployed, struggling, and forgotten Americans,” Trump said.

Conservative Republican state officials had threatened to sue the Trump administration over DACA if it had not been rescinded by Tuesday.

As a candidate, Trump pledged to end the program but later softened his stance, saying he wanted to treat the immigrants with “heart.”

On Friday, Trump said he had a “great feeling for DACA.”

“We love the dreamers,” Trump said, using the name for the people protected under DACA. “We love everybody.”

The decision could drag down the economy. A study earlier this year by the Center for American Progress estimated that the loss of all DACA workers would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by $433 billion over the next 10 years.

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