Attorney General Jeff Sessions officially announced Tuesday that the Trump administration will "rescind" Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an Obama-era program that grants work permits to young immigrants brought into America illegally as children and currently benefits roughly 800,000 individuals.
"Societies where the rule of law is subject to political whims and personal biases tend to become societies afflicted by corruption, poverty, and human suffering," Sessions said in his remarks, adding that "the compassionate thing is to end lawlessness, enforce our laws, and if Congress chooses to make changes to those laws, to do so through the process set forth by our Founders in a way that advances the interest of the nation."
Sessions added that "we are a people of compassion and a people of law. ... Nothing is compassionate about the failure to enforce immigration laws."
Trump told reporters Friday that "we love the DREAMers, we think the DREAMers are terrific," referring to the individuals protected by the DREAM Act. But Trump reportedly struggled with the decision to end the program and asked his aides for a "way out" of the corner he backed himself into on the campaign trail by promising to end it, The New York Times reports. Even many Republicans have signaled wanting a softer approach to DACA than what Sessions outlined.
"Enforcing the law saves lives, protects communities and taxpayers, and prevents human suffering," Sessions said. "Failure to enforce the laws in the past has put our nation at risk of crime, violence, and even terrorism." Watch below. Jeva Lange