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« Trump: The First Year

Trump to Congress: 'Get ready to do your job' on immigration



Published: Tue, September 5, 2017 @ 9:18 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump suggested today it was up to Congress to ultimately decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children, tweeting: "Congress, get ready to do your job - DACA!"

Trump was referring to former President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program, which has provided nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the U.S.

The Trump administration was expected to announce termination of the program – but only after giving Congress six months to come up with a legislative solution to protect the immigrants, sometimes known as "dreamers."

"Make no mistake, we are going to put the interest of AMERICAN CITIZENS FIRST!" Trump added in a second, retweeted message. "The forgotten men & women will no longer be forgotten."

Trump has no announcement on his Tuesday schedule, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a harsh opponent of the program, scheduled a press briefing on the topic later today.

Trump's expected plan to take a hard line on young immigrants unless Congress intervenes threatens to expose deep divides among Republicans who have long struggled with the issue, with one conservative warning of a potential "civil war" within the party. The plan essentially hands a political hot potato to congressional Republicans, who have a long history of failing to act on immigration because of divisions in the party.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., tweeted: "After teasing #Dreamers for months with talk of his 'great heart,' @POTUS slams door on them. Some 'heart'.."

Trump's decision would come after a long and notably public deliberation. Despite campaigning as an immigration hard-liner, Trump has said he is sympathetic to the plight of the immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children and in some cases have no memories of the countries they were born in.

But such an approach – essentially kicking the can down the road and letting Congress deal with it – is fraught with uncertainty and political perils that amount, according to one vocal opponent, to "Republican suicide."

Still other Republicans say they are ready to take on a topic that has proven a non-starter and career-breaker for decades.


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