Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Tuesday in a press briefing that the Trump administration would be rescinding former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The administration also said it would “wind down” the program that protects hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children. Sessions said DACA would be rescinded, with a six-month delay.
Trump asked Congress to find a legislative solution to protect the immigrants, who are often called “Dreamers.” He also defended his decision to phase out the program, saying he was giving Congress a “window of opportunity” to act.
Many political figures and lawmakers have responded to the Trump administration’s latest announcement.
New York Democrats Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo both criticized Trump’s decision to end DACA.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., tweeted that it was up to Congress to now act and create legislation. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said “this is a real problem we should solve in a bipartisan fashion.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., criticized the decision, as did Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., called Trump the “worst president in modern history.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said it was “heartless” to end DACA. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the decision cruel.”
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the DACA decision was a “wrong approach at a time when both sides need to compromise on immigration reform.”
Democratic Senators Dick Durbin and Kirsten Gillibrand and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez all said all mentioned the 800,000 people DACA protected.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel criticized the decision and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said that she stood with the Dreamers.
Vice President Joe Biden called the decision “cruel” and “not America.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, released a statement that he asked the president not to rescind DACA but agreed with Trump that the solution must come from Congress.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said he stood with Democrats to defend DACA. Sen. Dianne Feinstein retweeted Apple CEO Tim Cook’s tweet that he would stand with his employees who are protected under the act. Feinstein commended Cook for his fight.
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn., supported Trump’s decision to have Congress come up with a solution.