WASHINGTON — Midday protests. Urgent pleas. Furious campaigning. A president torn.
President Donald Trump stood at the centre of a frantic lobbying campaign Friday as he neared a decision on the fate of hundreds of thousands of young people brought into the country illegally as children.
After months of dragging his feet, the president on Tuesday will announce his plans for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which has given nearly 800,000 young immigrants the ability to work legally in the country and a reprieve from deportation.
Despite his fiery pledges during the presidential campaign to end the program, Trump has spent the last week mulling his choices, going over his options again and again, according to several people with knowledge of the deliberations. The people spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss private conversations.
“I think that this isn’t a decision that the president takes lightly and he’s taking time and diligent effort to make sure that he goes through every bit of the process,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday. “I think the decision itself is weighing on him, certainly.”
At the same time, House Speaker Paul Ryan and a number of other legislators are urging the president to hold off on scrapping the program to give them time to come up with a legislative solution to protect those now covered by the program.
“These are kids who know no other country, who are brought here by their parents and don’t know another home. And so I really do believe that there needs to be a legislative solution,” Ryan told Wisconsin radio station WCLO.