Dreamers and their supporters held a candlelight vigil outside the Washington home of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump on Monday night in a last-ditch plea for the couple’s help in saving a program that protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children from deportation.
The Trump administration is expected to announce the fate of the program, Deferred Action For Childhood Arrival, also known as DACA, on Tuesday.
News leaked on Sunday that President Donald Trump plans to end the Obama-era program, information that has caused widespread distress for DACA recipients, called “Dreamers.” The move would mean heightened risk for deportation for about 800,000 dreamers, and it would cut them off from the ability to renew their work visas, which enables them to work legally and pay taxes to the U.S.
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Program advocates have warned ending DACA would have negative impacts on the American workforce and economy.
Trump himself has publicly expressed reservations on ending the program, telling DACA recipients they should “rest easy” about their status during an interview with the Associated Press in April. He said his administration was “not after the Dreamers, we are after the criminals.”
First daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, have indicated their support for DACA in the past. Protesters tried to appeal to the couple, who serve as advisers to President Trump, with their Monday night vigil.
If Trump makes good on his promise to end DACA, he would do so after a six-month delay, according to reports by Politico and Reuters. The delay is intended to force Congress’s hand in taking action on immigration reform. As recently as Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan urged Trump not to end the program, saying “this is something that Congress has to fix.”
It’s unclear how the GOP-led House would act on legislation that would allow young, undocumented immigrants to remain and work legally in the United States.