WASHINGTON -- (WTVY) The President followed through with his campaign promise to end the 2012 policy today (Sept. 5, 2017).
Late Tuesday, President Trump publicly defended his decision to end DACA, before passing the buck to Congress:
"I have a love for these people and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly."
The Obama-era program granted deportation protections to an estimated 800,000 people brought illegally to the U.S. as children.
Earlier in the day, Attorney General Jeff Sessions formally announced plans to wind it down, citing constitutional concerns:
"If we are to further our goal of strengthening the constitutional order and the rule of law in America, the Department of Justice cannot defend this overreach."
The President has given lawmakers 6 months to possibly save DACA but is urging them to tie it to overall immigration reform.
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan expressed 'hope' not certainty that Congress will find consensus 'so that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country.'
Democrat Dick Durbin and Republican Lindsey Graham called on colleagues to pass the 'Dream Act.'
The measure would allow immigrant students to apply for legal status and potentially to gain citizenship if they go to college or serve in the military:
"They have no other country other than America. They're no more connected to their home country than I am to Scotland."
In a statement posted on Facebook, President Obama added his voice to the debate, calling the President's decision 'self-defeating' and 'cruel.'
President trump also issued a tweet Tuesday saying, "Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA, something the Obama Administration was unable to do. If they can't, I will revisit this issue!"
He's expected to meet at the White House Wednesday with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and DACA is likely to come up.
U.S. Representative Martha Roby released a statement on the Trump Administration's announcement regarding President Obama's DACA program. She said:
"The Obama Administration's DACA program illegally circumvented Congress and was one of many instances in which President Obama blatantly abused his executive authority.
President Trump and Attorney General Sessions are right to phase out this program and allow congress to craft the appropriate policy in an orderly and constitutional manner."
Roby said this is just one of the many areas of immigration law that needs to be fixed.