As a deadline from Republican state attorneys general approached, President Donald Trump last week asked White House aides for a “way out” of his campaign pledge to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the New York Times reported on Monday, citing two people familiar with the exchange.
Searching for a way to end DACA to satisfy his base while still ensuring that DREAMers would be protected, Trump and his aides reportedly landed on a proposal to end DACA with a six month delay. The postponed implementation would theoretically allow Congress to pass legislation restoring DACA’s policies.
Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, spoke with Republican lawmakers and devised the six month delay, three officials familiar with the situation told the New York Times. Kelly was also motivated to find a way to keep DACA following reports that DREAMers helped with Hurricane Harvey recovery, per the New York Times.
The President faced pressure from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and senior adviser Stephen Miller, both immigration hard-liners to end DACA, according to the New York Times and Buzzfeed News. Those who had advocated for maintaining DACA, like former chief of staff Reince Priebus, have left the administration, Buzzfeed News noted. Economic adviser Gary Cohn also urged Trump to keep DACA, the Times reported, but Cohn is not currently in the President’s good graces.
Trump will not announce the decision himself, instead leaving the announcement to Sessions. The attorney general is set to announce the policy change Tuesday at 11 a.m.