Jeff Sessions to speak on Trump’s plan for DACA
Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to hold a news briefing Tuesday morning on the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, the Justice Department said late Monday.
The announcement comes amid reports that President Donald Trump plans to end the 2012 program, which defers deportation for nearly 800,000 young people who entered the United States illegally as children.
The Justice Department said Sessions would “not be taking questions” after the Tuesday morning briefing with reporters. It did not provide any additional information.
Politico, citing sources familiar with Trump’s thinking, reported Sunday night that President Trump had decided to end the so-called Dreamers program with a six-month delay for Congress to act. White House officials told ABC News that the President was leaning toward phasing out the program, but they stressed that it was not a done deal.
A decision to end the program would likely spark political controversy. Twenty state attorneys general said they would defend DACA “by all appropriate means,” in a public statement in July.
New York and Washington state on Monday promised to sue Trump if he rescinded the program, while nine Republican state attorneys generals said they planned to file suit on Tuesday if Trump did not end it.
President Trump’s public schedule for Tuesday made no mention of a DACA announcement, but he tweeted Monday night that there was a “Big week coming up!”
Sessions has been a vocal proponent of curbing both legal and illegal immigration.
“Legal immigration is the primary source of low-wage immigration into the United States,” Sessions wrote in a 2015 Washington Post op-ed. “What we need now is immigration moderation: slowing the pace of new arrivals so that wages can rise, welfare rolls can shrink and the forces of assimilation can knit us all more closely together.”
At the beginning of his tenure as U.S. Attorney General, Sessions promised to bring on a dramatic Justice Department crackdown on illegal immigration and directed federal prosecutors to prioritize certain immigration related offenses.
During a trip to Nogales, Arizona, in April for a tour of the border and a meeting of Customs and Border Protection personnel, he warned of a “new era” of U.S. immigration that would bring felony charges for people who entered the United States illegally multiple times or had gotten married in order to gain legal status.
“For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned: This is a new era. This is the Trump era,” Sessions said in remarks prepared for delivery in Arizona. “The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws and the catch and release practices of old are over.”
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