Trump Claims DACA Recipients Have ‘Nothing To Worry About’ For Six Months

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Congressional leaders and administration officials on tax reform, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

President Donald Trump said Thursday that young undocumented immigrants currently protected by DACA had “nothing to worry about” during the six months before the program’s protections ended.

On Tuesday, Trump formally ended DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The program allowed undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to apply for work permits, giving them the ability to live out of the shadows without immediate fear of deportation.

Though the program ceased accepting new applications on Wednesday, holders of current DACA permits expiring before March 5, 2018 can apply for a two-year extension before Oct. 5. Those with permits expiring after March 5 will be eligible for deportation as soon as the following day.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed after Trump ended the program that immigration agents would not prioritize DACA recipients for deportation once their permits expire. But she refused to say outright that they would not be deported. A DHS official speaking on background to reporters Tuesday said former DACA recipients would be “amenable to removal.”

Trump has sent mixed messages about DACA. After ending the program, he urged Congress to legislate it permanently. But Sanders told reporters that the White House wanted any legislation affecting DACA recipients to also include increases in border security, and possibly restrictions on legal immigration. And it’s far from likely that both Republican-controlled chambers of Congress settle on legislation Trump agrees to sign into law.

This post has been updated.

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