U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he is not sure whether Democrats and Republicans can reach a deal on a permanent solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme by a February 8 deadline.
“Nobody knows for sure that the Republicans & Democrats will be able to reach a deal on DACA by February 8, but everyone will be trying … with a big additional focus put on Military Strength and Border Security,” Trump said in a Twitter message.
On Monday the U.S. Congress passed a measure to reopen the government and fund it through Feb. 8 after Democrats received a promise from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he would allow debate on an immigration deal.
The deal is to protect for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children by their parents.
Trump has said any legislation on DACA must include funding for a border wall, the elimination of the visa lottery programme, and an end of chain migration.
On September 5, 2017, Trump ordered an end to the Obama-era DACA programe.
As early as March, officials said, some of the 800,000 young adults brought to the United States illegally as children who qualify for the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, will become eligible for deportation.
The five-year-old policy allows them to remain without fear of immediate removal from the country and gives them the right to work legally.
Trump and Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, who announced the change at the Justice Department, both used the aggrieved language of anti-immigrant activists, arguing that those in the country illegally are lawbreakers who hurt native-born Americans by usurping their jobs and pushing down wages.
Trump said that he was driven by a concern for “the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system.”
Protests broke out in front of the White House and the Justice Department and in cities across the country soon after Sessions’s announcement.
Democrats and some Republicans, business executives, college presidents and immigration activists condemned the move as a coldhearted and shortsighted effort that was unfair to the young immigrants and could harm the economy.
Former President Obama, who had warned that any threat to the program would prompt him to speak out, called his successor’s decision “wrong,” “self-defeating” and “cruel.”