President Donald Trump is expected to announce the end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) as early as this week.
Immigrants currently depending on DACA can stay in the country until it expires, which could take a few months or a few years depending on when they received work permits.
President Barack Obama implemented DACA through an executive order in 2012. It protects from deportation undocumented youth who were brought into the country before the age of 16, who have a high school diploma, GED, or are honorably discharged from the military and who do not have a criminal record.
Trump received pressure from many conservatives: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine other state attorneys general threatened to sue the administration if he didn’t announce an end to the program by Sept. 5, next week. Trump has not been clear about a decision, but during his campaign promised to terminate the program along with all other immigration executive orders by President Obama
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) released a statement expressing his concern about Trump’s plans, saying that it would be a devastation to DACA recipients.
“In the absence of Congress enacting bipartisan immigration reform, which must remain our goal, the President ought to continue providing peace of mind to DREAMers that they need not live in fear of being sent away from the only home many of them have ever known,” Hoyer said.
There are currently 800,000 undocumented immigrants protected under DACA. If it is disbanded, the Department of Justice would have to defend the program.
Reuters contributed to this report.