White House: Dreamers are 'not a priority for deportation'
The nearly 800,000 immigrants shielded under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, or Dreamers, will not be targets for deportation, according to White House Director of Policy and Interagency Coordination, Carlos Diaz Rosillo.
On Tuesday, Donald Trump ordered an end to the DACA program that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. at a young age from being removed by immigration enforcement. Ahead of the announcement, there were concerns among immigrant communities that Trump's decision would mean mass deportation of Dreamers.
"The Department of Homeland Security has said already that they’re not a priority for deportation," Rosillo stressed in an interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group. "Let's remember that DACA is not about deportation, it's about giving work permits to those who arrived here as children."
Under Trump's order, the DACA program will be phased out starting in March 2018. That provides a six-month window for Congress to either codify DACA into law or come up with other legislation to address early childhood arrivals.
Rosillo is hopeful that Congress will be able to pass immigration reform and legally "extend the protections that DACA extended."
The White House official said that Trump is willing to work with members on both sides of the aisle in Congress in order to pass immigration reform and come to a legal resolution of the DACA program.
"We’re willing to work with them and the president is looking forward to signing a piece of legislation that makes sense," Rosillo said. "Again, they have an opportunity to do what they haven’t done in 5 years. Hopefully, they’ll get it done."