Read Trump's Full DACA Statement That Insists He's "Defending The American People"


On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration will be rescinding the Deferred Admission for Childhood Arrivals program, a decision many had expected from the White House. After Sessions' wrapped up his announcement — without taking questions from reporters — President Trump released his statement on ending DACA that declared his decision was to "defend the American people and the Constitution," not to punish children "for the actions of their parents."

DACA is an Obama-era policy that provided work permits and respites from deportation to hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.

The president's statement on DACA expresses some sympathy for the plight of DACA recipients (often referred to as DREAMers), who were brought to America often through no choice of their own.

"I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents," reads the statement's opening paragraph. "But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws."

The bulk of the president's rationale, according to the statement, reflects a belief that although a policy to help DREAMers would be desirable, President Obama's implementation of DACA through executive authority, not Congress, represents an unconstitutional overreach.

The statement goes on to express a desire for Congress to find a legislative solution — it ends by saying "It is now time for Congress to act!" — though it is somewhat vague about what kind of solution from Congress the Trump administration would consider acceptable. Although the president's statement showed some sympathy for DREAMers, the statement from the Attorney General that announced the policy change came with an expression of harsh nativist sentiment, opposing the policy of amnesty for illegal immigrants. And while many members of Congress (even Republicans) have expressed support for the program, it's still quite an uphill battle for Congress to pass something due to deep divisions in the Republican base over the issue.

Some see President Trump and Attorney General Sessions focusing on the need to uphold constitutional limits on the rule of law and executive authority as hypocritical, considering the president's recent pardon for Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of violating a court order demanding he stop violating constitutional rights, as well as his frequent insistence that the president has unilateral authority over immigration law with respect to legal challenges to his executive order banning travel from Muslim-majority nations.

Here is the full statement from the president: