Trump vows to revisit DACA if Congress stumbles

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on President Donald Trump's decision to phase out a program that shields from deportation young immigrants brought to the country illegally (all times local): 8:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump now says he will "revisit" a program protecting young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children if Congress doesn't act.

Trump announced Tuesday that he was phasing out President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, but said he'd give Congress six months to come up with an alternative before ending it completely.

Now he's tweeting that, "Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do)." But he says, "If they can't, I will revisit this issue!" It's unclear what that means.

Trump had tweeted earlier that he was looking forward to working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress "to address immigration reform in a way that puts hardworking citizens of our country 1st."

 

Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can't, I will revisit this issue!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2017

 

------ 8:30 p.m. Former President Bill Clinton is criticizing the Trump administration's decision to begin phasing out a program that protects young immigrants brought to the country illegally, saying it will "crush their dreams and weaken the American Dream for the rest of us." Clinton says in a statement issued Tuesday evening that the program "brought hundreds of thousands of young people out of the shadows -- allowing them to live without fear, go to school, work, and contribute to America in countless other ways." He says the phase-out is wrong and irresponsible, "passing the buck instead of offering sensible solutions for immigration reform." Clinton is calling on Congress to act immediately to protect the young immigrants' status.

------ 7 p.m. President Donald Trump has begun dismantling a government program that shields from deportation hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children. The Trump administration announced Tuesday it's phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and leaving it to Congress to come up with an alternative. Trump says he has a "great love" for the young immigrants protected by the DACA program. But his decision was met with shock, anger and a sense of betrayal by its beneficiaries, often called "Dreamers." Demonstrations broke out in New York City, where police handcuffed and removed over a dozen immigration activists who briefly blocked Trump Tower, and in other cities, including Salt Lake City, Denver, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon.

------ 4:30 p.m. President Donald Trump says he has a "great love" for the young immigrants protected by the DACA program. Speaking before a meeting with administration officials and congressional leaders Tuesday, Trump says he has a "great heart" for the young people. He says he hopes "Congress will be able to help them and do it properly." The Trump administration announced Tuesday it's phasing out the program and leaving it to Congress to come up with an alternative. The program has provided nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation. Trump says he has spoken with members of Congress who "want to be able to do something and do it right." He adds that he thinks "long-term, it's going to be the right solution."

---- 4:25 p.m. A Republican senator is urging President Donald Trump to get personally involved in advancing legislation that would put a select group of young immigrants on a path to U.S. citizenship. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says Trump should "work the phones" to get the votes needed to pass the bill Graham is sponsoring with Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat. Their legislation would allow young immigrants who grew up in the U.S. to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually American citizenship if they meet several requirements. They have to have come to the United States as children, graduate from high school and pass background checks. Graham says the bill "is a good down payment on what will eventually be a comprehensive solution to a broken immigration system."

------ 3:45 p.m. A Democratic congressman is calling White House Chief of Staff John Kelly a liar after President Donald Trump's decision to rescind the government program protecting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children. Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois lashed out at Kelly, the former head of the Homeland Security Department, on Tuesday. The lawmaker says Kelly has "no honor and should be drummed out of the White House along with the white supremacists and those enabling the president's actions by `just following orders."' Gutierrez says Kelly told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that the mass deportation of so-called "Dreamers" would be prevented. The lawmaker says Kelly, a former Marine, is a "disgrace to the uniform he used to wear."

------ 3:05 p.m. Former President Barack Obama calls President Donald Trump's decision to phase out the so-called DACA program "cruel" and "self-defeating." The program has provided nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation. The Trump administration announced Tuesday it's rescinding the program and leaving it to Congress to come up with an alternative. Obama did not mention Trump by name in his statement but says a "shadow has been cast" over some of the nation's best and brightest young people. He says targeting them is wrong "because they have done nothing wrong." Obama says it's up to members of Congress to act and he joins his voice with the majority of Americans who hopes Congress will step up.

---- 2:15 p.m. The White House says it wants Congress to come up with a plan to replace the program the Trump administration is phasing out, which shields young immigrants from deportation. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says President Donald Trump wants to see "responsible immigration reform" from Congress. She says it should also include controlling the U.S. border, improved vetting and enforcing immigration laws. The administration is giving Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix before the government stops renewing permits for people covered by the program.

------ 1:45 p.m. Mexico says it "deeply regrets" the Trump administration's decision to phase out a program that shields young immigrants from deportation, and the Mexican government is urging U.S. lawmakers to pass a replacement. The Foreign Relations department says in a statement that "it is undoubtedly the sole responsibility of U.S. citizens and their institutions to determine U.S. immigration policy ... but in the current situation, the Mexican government has a moral imperative to act." The department said Tuesday that Mexico would provide legal defense services for any of its citizens affected by the decision. The department said of the young immigrants, dubbed "Dreamers," that Mexico "will receive with open arms any dreamers who return."

------ 12:30 p.m. President Donald Trump is defending his decision to phase out a program protecting young immigrants from deportation, saying he is giving Congress a "window of opportunity" to act. Trump is stressing in a statement that he is "not going to just cut DACA off, but rather provide a window of opportunity for Congress to finally act." The program created by former President Barack Obama has given nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the country. Trump says he is not in favor of punishing children for the actions of their parents. But he says: "Young Americans have dreams too."

------ 11:45 a.m. House Speaker Paul Ryan says Barack Obama's existing policy for immigrants brought to the country as children was a "clear abuse of executive authority" and now it's incumbent upon Congress to act. In a statement Tuesday, the Wisconsin Republican says the heart of the issue is "young people who came to this country through no fault of their own." Ryan says it is his hope that the House and Senate -- with the president's leadership -- will find consensus on a permanent legislative solution to the issue. He says it is important to ensure that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute "as a valued party of this great country." Ryan's statement came after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he was rescinding the program known as DACA.

------ 11:45 a.m. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is calling President Donald Trump's decision to end the program protecting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children "a deeply shameful act of political cowardice." Pelosi also said in a statement that the widely expected announcement on Tuesday was a "despicable assault on innocent young people in communities across America." The California lawmaker said the decision requires immediate action from the Republican-led Congress, and Speaker Paul Ryan and the GOP leadership must hold a vote immediately to address the issue.

------ 11:15 a.m. The Trump administration has announced that it will wind down a program protecting young immigrants from deportation. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday called the program known as DACA as an "unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch." He says the Trump administration is urging Congress to find an alternate way to protect young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children. Sessions says the U.S. needs to have a lawful immigration that "serves the national interest" and the U.S. cannot admit everyone who wants to come to the country.

------ 10:26 a.m. President Donald Trump will phase out a program that has protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children. He will call for Congress to find a legislative solution to protect the immigrants, who are often called "Dreamers." That's according to two people who were briefed on the plan set to be announced later Tuesday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plans publicly before the announcement. Trump suggested in an earlier tweet Tuesday that it would be up to Congress to ultimately decide the fate of those covered by President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program. DACA has provided nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the U.S. -- By Jill Colvin.

---- 8:25 a.m. President Donald Trump says Congress should "get ready" to take on immigration legislation. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to announce Tuesday it will end in six months a program that shields from deportation young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The decision to delay the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program, would give Congress time to act. But Congress has struggled to act on immigration because of divisions within the Republican party. Trump tweeted early Tuesday: "Congress, get ready to do your job - DACA!"

---- 3:38 a.m. Potential battles may lie ahead for President Donald Trump and the Republican Party in the wake of his decision on whether to keep the program that protects hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. Some Republicans want to maintain the program while others want it ended. Waiting for the president's decision are those who came to the U.S. illegally as children and in some cases have no memories of their native countries. Trump is expected to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but with a six-month delay. Congress could use that extra time to pass legislation that would address the status of the so-called Dreamers. The Justice Department says Attorney General Jeff Sessions will address the DACA program at a Tuesday morning briefing. 

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