President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed he has “a great love” for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, despite having just ended the program that granted them legal protection.
“I have a great heart for these folks we’re talking about, a great love for them,” Trump said during a photo opportunity with members of Congress and his administration, referring to those protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which he terminated on Tuesday.
He said “people think in terms of children” when they think of DACA recipients “but they’re really young adults.”
“I have a love for these people, and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly,” Trump said. “Really we have no choice. We have to be able to do something, and I think it’s going to work out very well. And longterm it’s going to be the right solution.”
Trump did not specify what that solution would look like. In a tweet earlier Tuesday, he made clear that what comes next is Congress’ problem: “Get ready to do your job!”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also declined to provide specifics during her briefing on Tuesday, but suggested that if Congress can’t pass legislation on the subject — as it failed to do with regard to health care in several high-profile, nationally televised belly-flops — then “they should get out of the way and let someone else do it.”