President Donald Trump said Friday that he would announce a decision on the future of the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program (DACA) “sometime today or over the weekend.”
“Should Dreamers be worried?” a reporter in the Oval Office scrum asked next, using a shorthand for young undocumented immigrants who have been shielded from deportation by DACA.
“We love the Dreamers,” he said. “We love everybody. Thank you very much.”
“What do you say to the Dreamers who are scared right now?” a reporter asked later.
“I think the Dreamers are terrific,” Trump replied.
In subsequent pool footage from the Oval Office, Trump speculated that his decision could come as late as Monday. He added: “Great feeling for DACA.”
The comments marked more empty rhetoric from the President. Though he has not touched the DACA program so far, he pledged to eliminate it during the 2016 presidential campaign and has since only assured DACA recipients that his administration would “show great heart,” toward them.
Ten Republican attorneys general have threatened to sue to end the program if Trump does not rescind the executive order that former President Barack Obama used to create it by Sept. 5.
This post has been updated.