MIAMI (CBSMiami) – President Donald Trump repeatedly called for the end of the DACA program during the 2016 election.
That’s a campaign promise he appears to be ready to keep as more details about the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program emerge.
CBS News has learned President Trump will announce the end of the DACA program on Tuesday.
Now the question remains – how will it be done.
“The president is very focused on legal immigration,” said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
DACA protects an estimated 800,000 immigrants, commonly known as “dreamers”, who were brought to America as children from deportation.
They also receive work permits which expire every two years – but can be renewed.
“They should not be punished for the sins of their parents,” said Jeff Flake (R) Arizona. “That’s just the basic principle that we ought to follow here.”
Arizona senator Jeff Flake is among a growing list of republicans who want to make DACA a permanent law.
“To remove them from the country, to split up families like this, is just not the way we ought to go,” Flake said.
The White House has sent signals that it may consider whatever legislative fix congress can come up with.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state’s attorney general vowed Monday to sue President Trump if he scraps the program.
Should Trump follow through with ending the program on Tuesday there will still be six month delay before the deportations begin.
“This news is disappointing but should not surprise anyone,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, FL-R. “It’s disappointing because after assuming the presidency, after winning the presidency, he had given hopeful signs. He says he’s going to decide, and it’s a tough decision, he’s going to decide with a good heart. And he had given false hopes to the dreamers.”
In response, Dreamers in South Florida are holding the last of their daily vigils in protest of the possible decision.
“I feel like an American. I am an American to everyone. It is really hard because I grew up with this culture of being an American,” said Dreamer Analleli Gallegos.
“I was 3 years old when I arrived here from Santiago, Chile,” said Dreamer Adrian Escarate.
As for Congress, the six month delay is intended to give them time to come up with a legislative solution.
“What has Congress been doing to help the dreamers? Nada, zilch, zip. Nothing. So I keep filing the bill, the Dream Act, and one day it’s going to become a reality,” said Ros-Lehtinen.
Despite Congress not getting much done recently, Ros-Lehtinen believes they could pass something.
“It’s amazing, our to do list. Of course we can add one more item, make the dreamers a legislative reality,” she said. “If the Republican leadership allows it to come to the floor, we have the votes to pass it.”
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Trump’s ending of the program is purely political and will have a disasterous effect on our economy while doing nothing to secure our borders.
“The United States has already invested substantially in these young immigrants, with 92 percent of DACA-eligible students over 18 having received at least a high school education in this nation,” the congresswoman said in a statement. “Two recent reports shows the economic impact to the U.S., could be devastating over the next decade. One found that ending the DACA program would remove at least 460.3 billion dollars from the U.S. GDP and 27 billion from Florida.”
DACA, created by Executive Order under the Obama Administration in 2012, deferred deportation for two years and granted options for higher education and work permits to undocumented young people in the U.S.