President Trump said Thursday that he, and not subordinate officials, would make the decision about what to do with President Obama’s program that shields more than 750,000 people from deportation who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
“It’s a decision that I make, and it’s a decision that’s very very hard to make. I really understand the situation now,” Trump said.
“I understand the situation very well. What I’d like to do is a comprehensive immigration plan. But our country and political forces are not ready yet,” he added.
Trump’s Homeland Security secretary, John F. Kelly, had suggested in remarks Wednesday that Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions might make the final decision about the program, known as DACA, if it is challenged in court.
Trump’s remarks appeared to suggest that he would not delegate the decision about the future of the young people known as “Dreamers” to Sessions.
California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said this week he is prepared to do everything in his power to defend the program – including standing with the Trump administration against a legal threat from Republican states.
Last month, Kelly released a memorandum that formally ended the legal fight over a related program, the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA. That initiative sought to temporarily remove the threat of deportation for the parents of children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents but was never fully implemented.