President Donald Trump dispatched Attorney General Jeff Sessions to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on Tuesday and quickly suggested that same night that he could “revisit” the issue if Congress fails to restore DACA’s protections.
And on Wednesday, a defiant Trump said that he had “no second thoughts” about ending the program.
Trump made the comment to reporters during a meeting with congressional leaders from both parties, according to a White House pool report.
The President has waffled in his public comments on the program that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors from deportation. Early on in his presidency, when he was fresh off of a campaign spent targeting immigrants, Trump said he would treat DACA recipients with “great heart.”
Upon announcing the decision to end the program on Tuesday, the Trump administration urged Congress to pass legislation restoring DACA’s protections. But it’s not clear that Congress will be able to pass such legislation in the six-month window provided by the Trump administration.
So on Tuesday night, Trump confused matters by suggesting he could “revisit” the program if Congress failed to pass legislation protecting undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors. It’s not clear what Trump meant by this, especially considering that the administration declared DACA to be a product of executive overreach.
During his meetings with congressional leaders, Trump also addressed the “many, many things” Congress must pass this month in a vague comment.
“Hopefully we can solve them in a rational way and maybe we won’t be able to,” he said, according to the pool report. “We’ll probably know pretty much at the end of this meeting or the meetings that we’ll be having over a short period of time. But our country has a lot of great assets and we have some liabilities that we have to work out, so we’ll see if we can do that.”
Asked if he would back a Democratic proposal to tie disaster relief aid for Hurricane Harvey to a three-month debt limit hike, Trump told reporters, “We’ll see.”